Late Lunchtime Links: Banks’ HR staff offer insights into Ina Drew, the frighteningly intelligent head of JPMorgan’s chief investment office

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Ina Drew

Bloomberg has an interesting piece on Ina Drew, the $14m a year 55 year old incredibly successful Wall Street woman you hadn’t previously heard of. Drew is head of JPMorgan’s chief investment office. She’s worked for JPMorgan (or its forebears) for 30 years and has been head of the chief investment office since February 2005. In the past few years, the portfolio she manages there has doubled to the $360bn in manages today.

Who is Drew? Bloomberg says she’s a graduate of John Hopkins University and Columbia. It’s spoken to her former colleagues who paint a picture of a fiercely intelligent woman who doesn’t back down, but likes to remain in the shadows.

“She was scary- smart, she was very determined, she was very low-key compared to the crazies that you find on a trading floor -- but very, very determined,” said Mark Schneiderman, a former human resources manager at Chemical Banking Corp, where Drew managed US interest-rate risks.

John Farrell, a former head of HR at JPMorgan, told Bloomberg that Drew was no pushover. She would stand up to JPMorgan’s heads of investment banking and trading, said Drew, saying:  “I don’t agree with that, and here’s what we should be doing.” Farrell says they’d end up doing what Drew said.

Drew is based in New York. JPMorgan’s big losses originated in London, but Drew manages the London team. Bloomberg says it’s spoken to a JPMorgan ‘executive’ who says more than one trader was responsible.

Meanwhile:

It’s ok – JPMorgan’s bonuses have mostly been in cash. (eFinancialCareers)

In the annals of trading blow-ups JPMorgan’s is one of the worst. Goldman is notably absent from the list. (Bloomberg) 

What really went wrong at JPMorgan. (Alphaville) 

This is exactly the kinda story that could crash the market.“  Why?  Well, if people were starting to trust that the banks knew what they were doing – and that’s a big IF – this story puts all sorts of doubt into that “trust.”  (Kid Dynamite) 

At these size trades, the asymmetrical preference for bonuses over risk management is such that even clawbacks won’t work. (Big Picture) 

Senior staff had for years warned the bank’s management about the quality of the risk management undertaken by the Chief Investment Office. (Telegraph)

And in other news:

George Urumov at Otkritie says the $23m in signing bonuses he received were for him to distribute at its discretion. (Bloomberg) 

Credit Agricole is ‘ahead of schedule’ with its restructuring plans (and its 1,750 redundancies.) (Wall Street Journal) 

RBS is cutting headcount in the Netherlands by 25%. (Reuters) 

Morgan Stanley has pulled the plug on Zoe Cruz’s hedge fund (which it had been covertly financing) but it’s ok: Asset managers and banks have been in touch with Ms. Cruz about potential jobs, said people familiar with the matter. (Wall Street Journal) 

At least you don’t work in construction or manufacturing. (Alphaville) 

Some pictures of the world’s most expensive Ferraris. (Telegraph) 

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