Legacy of JPMorgan’s Departing Bearish Strategist

Wall Street’s biggest bear, Chief Market Strategist Marko Kolanovic, is leaving JPMorgan Chase & Co. after 19 years. According to internal memos, Kolanovic is departing to pursue new opportunities, as first reported by Bloomberg News.

Kolanovic’s exit comes after a challenging two-year period of market calls where he stayed bullish as stocks plummeted in 2022 and turned bearish just as the market began recovering in late 2023. Claudia Jury and Scott Hamilton, global co-heads of sales and research at JPMorgan, announced that Hussein Malik, previously co-head of global research with Kolanovic, will now lead the global research team solo.


Dubravko Lakos-Bujas will take over as the new chief market strategist, overseeing the markets strategy group, while Steve Dulake and Nick Rosato will co-lead the newly unified credit and equity research team.

Despite Kolanovic’s year-end S&P 500 target of 4,200 for 2024, which was the lowest among major Wall Street banks, many of his peers have raised their targets in response to the index’s rise. Kolanovic’s successor, Lakos-Bujas, has favored large-cap growth stocks but warned of the market’s increasing dependence on these megacap names.

Kolanovic’s bearish outlook was based on concerns about a potential U.S. recession due to high interest rates and what he viewed as overly optimistic earnings expectations for U.S. stocks, particularly in the tech sector. He recommended defensive stocks and increasing exposure to commodities like gold.

JPMorgan has not commented on whether Kolanovic’s bearish stance influenced his departure. His exit reduces the number of bearish voices among professional investors, though some like Peter Berezin of BCA Research and Barry Bannister of Stifel remain cautious about the market’s future.

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