ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--JPMorgan Chase & Co. today announced that former Senator and HUD Secretary Mel Martinez will join the firm to be its Chairman of Florida, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
He will serve on JPMorgan Chase's Executive Committee and will be the firm's senior executive in Florida and the region, representing the firm at the most senior levels to clients – from businesses to large corporations to non-profits and governments.
"Mel has been a business and civic leader and a role model in Florida for decades,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase. “He has served the people of Florida well at both the local and national level and now he will help JPMorgan Chase continue our expansion to serve the consumers, businesses and communities of Florida and the region.
”Mel’s record of perseverance, hard work and integrity is a perfect complement to the many Chase and J.P. Morgan executives and bankers already there,” Dimon said.
Since acquiring Washington Mutual's banking operations in late 2008, JPMorgan Chase has hired hundreds of bankers to expand its presence in Florida in Consumer, Commercial, Private and Investment Banking. Chase also plans to add at least 20 branches a year to its network of 240 branches and 1,000 ATMs in the state.
Chase serves nearly 6 million customers in Florida and employs 14,000 Floridians. The bank also has provided face-to-face loan counseling for more than 18,000 families struggling through its 11 Chase Homeownership Centers in Florida.
“I’m thrilled to accept this new challenge and look forward to building upon the reputation of this premier financial services company,” said Martinez, who will be based in Orlando. “The firm is a global leader, and it’s an honor to take on this role in Florida, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.”
He immigrated to Florida in 1962 at age 15 through Operation Peter Pan, a humanitarian program to relocate children from Cuba in the early years of the Castro regime. After living in refugee camps and foster homes, Martinez worked his way through school, earning undergraduate and law degrees from Florida State University.
He worked as an attorney in Orlando for 25 years while serving in leadership roles on a Who’s Who of youth, civic and business organizations. He was first elected to public office in 1998 as Mayor of Orange County, representing the greater Orlando area.
At President Bush’s request, he became U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in 2001. After his service at HUD, he was elected as the first Cuban-American to the U.S. Senate in 2004. He served on the following Senate Committees: Armed Services; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; Foreign Relations; Energy and Natural Resources, and Commerce as well as the Special Committee on Aging.
Most recently, he has been a partner at DLA Piper in Orlando, a leading global business law firm. “I leave DLA Piper with warm relationships with many of its lawyers around the world, which I know will continue.”
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.1 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. The firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers, small business and commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management and private equity. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.