If you work for J.P. Morgan, you might want to be aware and fearful of David Hudson. He may be coming for your job.
London-based Hudson doesn't look scary. - Bloomberg says he resembles an architect or a liberal arts professor (horn-rimmed glasses, fuzzy beard, hair in the style of Caesar, just longer). But Hudson is tasked with coming up innovations that might alleviate the need for humans in particular areas of J.P. Morgan. His official title? Global head of markets execution. His function? Making sure J.P. Morgan's salespeople and traders have access to cutting edge risk tools, introducing those tools to clients, and coming up with "moonshots" that could change the industry completely.
A new "big data tool" for J.P. Morgan's sales staff is one example of Hudson's oeuvre. He says it could go one of two ways: by freeing up salespeople's time, the new tool could allow them to devote more time to clients. Alternatively, it could simply mean that J.P. Morgan needs fewer salespeople in future. Hudson doesn't say so, but another of his initiatives - making J.P. Morgan's Athena system available to clients in the style of SecDB at Goldman Sachs could do much the same.
Hudson works for Daniel Pinto, CEO of J.P. Morgan's investment bank and is seemingly given almost limitless funding. As we've reported before, Pinto exudes confidence and gives the distinct impression that J.P. Morgan is one of the best banks to work for now in terms of job security.
Appearances, however, can be deceiving. Hudson plans to take no prisoners. He says J.P. Morgan has been burned already by its tendency to protect staff as rivals move on. - In 2003, JPM failed to invest in electronic systems for FX trading, preferring to stick with its army of traders and salespeople who operated by phone. Within three years, the bank slipped from the top ranked position in FX trading to ninth place.
If anything, you might want to get onto Hudson's team (although you'll need to know how to code). Every Monday morning, team members get to sit around and conceive of ideas that might upend J.P. Morgan's business model as we know it. If the ideas seem valid, they get to build a solution. If the solution works, they get to implement it, and if the implementation takes off, it's embodied in J.P. Morgan's operations until the next big disruption takes place.
Separately, the "Fearless Girl" statue on Wall Street could've been a large cow. Dealbreaker reports that State Street initially conceived of a "statue of a cow" to be set up opposite the bronze bull at Bowling Green. “The client realized, after we had gone down the road a bit, that a cow sculpture could be conceived as demeaning to women,” noted State Street's event consultant in an email on the subject.
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