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Morning Coffee: The boldest career move at J.P. Morgan. Bankers’ awkward conversations

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Are you working for a large investment bank and hankering to switch out into fintech? No need! Stay working for your current employer, but move upstairs to its new innovation hub. You can wear jeans, you can even wear a hoodie. But no flip flops, never flip flops.

In a bid to stop its employees flooding out into fintech, J.P. Morgan has a solution – keep the whole thing in-house. Instead of quitting to move into a start-up, J.P. Morgan is giving its employees the chance to see if their product idea would be useful to the bank. If this is the case, then it will allow you develop it in-house, according to Financial News.

If this seems beneficent, there’s a catch. “The employee in question has to have ‘skin in the game’,” Oliver Harris, head of JPMorgan’s In-Residence programme told FN. “If the idea doesn’t work out or the individual changes their mind after six months, their previous job may not necessarily be there anymore, so they have to think seriously about it.”

In other words, even if you want to work in fintech within your current employer there’s a big risk you’ll be out of a full-time job.

Other banks are doing the same thing. UBS says it employees are “set free” on tech projects if their idea is given the thumbs up from an innovation board, even if the intellectual property of the product is retained by the bank. BNP Paribas says employees are given six months to work on their fintech idea.

“They want to build a fintech company and become a millionaire — why not? We want to help them. If we have a stake in the business and we are able to help clients, it’s also good for us,” said Philippe Ruault, chief innovation and digital officer at the bank.

Separately, quantitative investors, which are clients of large investment banks, are piling on the pressure for sell-side firms to reveal proprietary information, says Bloomberg. Quants are turning to everything from satellite imagery to credit card data to gain an edge over the competition, and now want banks to help.

It’s a bit awkward. So far, banks are feeling both sensing an opportunity to monetise the exclusive information they have, and avoiding potentially compliance-busting revelations.

“We understand why clients would be interested in this data, but we’re extraordinarily sensitive to all of our client concerns about what is appropriate to share,” head of quantitative equity research at Credit Suisse, Matthew Rothman, told Bloomberg.

Meanwhile: 

Jonathan Yalmokas, the head of prime brokerage at Bank of America, left to join RBC. He decided to go to Cantor Fitzgerald instead. (Business Insider)

Natasha Meaney is UBS’s new chief administrative officer for compliance and operational risk. She joins from Barclays (Financial News)

James Damore, the Google employee fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes”, says he is “currently exploring all possible legal remedies” (Financial Times)

“My apology on Facebook was because I had behaved unpleasantly. It should not be interpreted as an acknowledgment of crime. I have not done anything wrong.” (Bloomberg)

Banks and asset managers are cooling off on moving to Dublin, hoping for a soft Brexit (Bloomberg)

HFTs are making money every day. Just not enough of it. (Quartz)

Time to use your mother’s maiden name as a password again? (WSJ)

Become an AI superstar online (Fast Company)

Contact: pclarke@efinancialcareers.com

Image: Getty Images

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