Commodities Unit Chief Is Leaving JPMorgan

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NEW YORK — A prominent executive is leaving JPMorgan Chase as her powerful trading operation has stopped performing up to expectations, underscoring that the nation’s largest bank is not immune to the boom and bust cycles that periodically sweep through Wall Street.

The announcement on Wednesday of the departure of Blythe Masters, the head of JPMorgan’s giant commodities unit, comes as the bank completes a sale of crucial parts of that business. Commodities operations, which trade in things like oil, metals and electricity, have recently stumbled at several Wall Street companies.

But JPMorgan’s partial retreat from the business is particularly noteworthy because the bank, under Masters, made ambitious efforts to increase its presence in commodities soon after the financial crisis. New regulations, greater competition and relatively stable commodities prices have combined in recent years to make the business far less profitable for big banks.

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