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10 things you didn’t know about Jes Staley (and may need to)

Jes Staley will be the new CEO of Barclays. The BBC says so, and the BBC is the oracle when it comes to events in the UK. Everyone knows a little of Jes’s backstory: that he spent 34 years at J.P. Morgan, that he was bestest friends with Jamie Dimon, that he was supposed to be Dimon’s replacement until he ran away to work for a hedge fund… But do you really know Jes? If you want to get to know the man behind the media through the medium of electronic communication, you need to digest the facts below.

1. He’s obsessed with sailing, but not in a Sunseeker sense 

Staley specifies sailing as his hobby on BlueMountain’s website. However, he’s more of an arts-and-crafts type sailor than a Sunseeker man. He has a ‘boat’, not a yacht. It’s an artisan-crafted custom-built 90 foot affair from Maine (although the boat may grow again in line with Staley’s promotions – back in 2009 it was only 40 foot).

2. He’s a Democrat

Like Dimon, Staley has Democratic inclinations. In the past, he donated money to the Democratic Senatorial Committee.

3. He wants the bank he works for to be the best 

“I didn’t want to run a business where everyone believed that mediocre was the best I could do,” said Staley in relation to J.P. Morgan’s purchase of hedge fund Highbridge Capital in 2004.

4. He’s pro-diversity since his brother was diagnosed with Aids

Staley has reportedly been a big advocate for diversity since discovering that his brother Peter had been diagnosed with HIV. He helped push the diversity agenda at J.P. Morgan.

5. He’s made mistakes, lived through crises 

Staley was working in Brazil for J.P. Morgan during the Latin American crisis. The bank bought a Brazilian investment bank which later folded. “We brought some of the best and brightest we had from London and New York in to run it,” Staley said. “It took us four years to run it into the ground.”

6. Staley’s grandfather nearly bankrupted J.P. Morgan 

Staley’s grandfather was one Edward Staley. Edward Staley was a senior executive at W.T Grant stores, which was akin to Walmart in the 1970s. In 1976, W.T Grant filed for bankruptcy, resulting in the largest ever loan loss for J.P. Morgan (at that time).

7. He’s highly ethical 

He has, “impeccable character and integrity” according to Jamie Dimon. He has a, “He has a well-developed sense of right and wrong,” according to Britt Harris, chief investment officer of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

8. He’s passionate about his alma mater

Staley attended Bowdoin College. He graduated cum laude and on the dean’s list in economics and has been both a ‘breakfast speaker’ and on the board of trustees. 

“I’m amazed at his accessibility,” a Bowdoin president told Bloomberg in 2009. “He e-mails me from around the world noting Bowdoin victories on the sporting field.”

9. He likes to hang around in the Grill Room of the NYC’s Four Seasons

Or at least he did, back in 2009. It’s worth a try.

10. He’s good with people 

In the words of Dimon, Staley is, “an unbelievable people person” who is very good at mentoring employees.

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