Does JPMorgan need to pay its technologists more money? Seemingly, yes. Or at least, something needs to change.
Bloomberg reports that JPMorgan suffered an ‘exodus’ of senior technology staff before its security was breached by hackers in June. ‘The departures meant that executives with intimate knowledge of JPMorgan’s systems, which use thousands of proprietary software programs and hundreds of thousands of desktop computers and servers, were gone,’ says Bloomberg. Worse, JPMorgan didn’t replace its lost executives with data security professionals recruited from elsewhere in the financial services industry: it hired a former U.S. Air Force commander for information warfare .
JPMorgan’s escaped technologists almost all went to First Data Corporation, a global payment processing company which initially poached Frank Bisignano, former co-COO of JPMorgan in April 2013. Bisignano set about recruiting various other JPMorgan technology executives, including Anthony Belfiore, head of information security, who joined First Data in March 2014. JPMorgan replaced Belfiore with Greg Rattray, the airforce information warfare expert. Rattray arrived in June, just as the hacking attack got underway. The hack wasn’t even spotted until mid-August.
The moral of the story is clear: banks need their senior technology staff far more than they think. Given the complexity of their IT systems and their penchant for proprietary programmes, institutional memory is imperative. If an exodus of senior IT staff leaves a bank like JPMorgan vulnerable to cyber attack, more needs to be done to keep those staff and to lock them in. Earlier this year, JPMorgan began ‘Google-izing’ its technology offices with colourful breakout rooms. Suddenly that looks both naive and woefully inadequate.
Separately, if you’re thinking of leaving banking and making a career in academia, the Times has got a helpful chart revealing how much you’re likely to earn. Tweeted by Phil Batty, editor at Large for Times Higher Education, it reveals that 10% of University Professors in England earn more than £100k. Around 50% of people in ‘institutional strategic leadership’ positions in English academia are earning more than £100k. And are around 5% of people in ‘academic leadership’ positions are. You probably wouldn’t want to be a research assistant though: they almost all earn less than £40k, while around 90% of senior lecturers earn less than £60k. The full chart is below.
Today is the day that Britain’s attempt to overthrow the EU bonus cap will heard in Europe’s top court. (Telegraph)
Michel Barnier, the EU commissioner responsible for financial services, has reiterated his opposition to cash allowances as a means of circumventing the bonus cap. (Financial Times)
UBS has got a new FX, rates and credit division to help navigate the shift to electronic trading. It’s just moved Mike du Plessis, former co-global head of exchange-traded derivatives execution services in London, to New York to manage the agency trading side of the business. (Financial News)
Goldman Sachs reserves the right to pay employees’ legal fees/or not. That gives employees an incentive not to implicate their bosses. (NY Times)
Goldman Sachs only calls people VP as a matter of courtesy. (Bloomberg)
Deutsche Bank just hired an ex-Goldman Sachs trader who quit banking to set up a hedge fund in Singapore. (FX)
Kweku Adoboli is still in prison. Jerome Kerviel isn’t. (Bloomberg)
Questions you must ask when you’re thinking of getting an MBA (HBR)
Ivy League graduates are a prestige good: having a lot of them in your firm is like wearing a Rolex. (New Republic)
If you want to take risk, join a commodity trading house. (Economist)
What do venture capitalists do all day? (ValleyWag)