One of J.P. Morgan’s most critical strategic changes over the last year was the creation of the bank’s digital and platform services unit, a division launched in September aimed at streamlining technology spending within its corporate and investment bank (CIB). The new unit replaced the old system, where "everyone was building their own platform" across the CIB – a strategy that was "clearly bananas,” an anonymous J.P. Morgan executive told the FT.
The digital and platform services unit is heavily supported by Daniel Pinto, head of the corporate and investment bank. It's led by David Hudson, the former head of J.P. Morgan’s markets execution team, and Guy Halamish, previously the CFO of J.P. Morgan’s global markets division. Pinto has granted the duo plenty of power. Late last year, J.P. Morgan appointed nearly two dozen of its most senior CIB executives to the digital division's leadership team, according to the FT. The high-level execs jointly report to their business heads as well as Halamish and Hudson – a structure that emphasizes just how influential tech leads have become at big investment banks.
While the unit was coordinated in part to limit unnecessary technology costs, Halamish said there is "zero limit" on how much they can spend on strategic ideas if they make sense for the corporate and investment bank. Therefore, if you want to work on highly-prioritized, next-gen projects that affect the front-office, J.P. Morgan’s digital and platform services group appears to be a good place to start.
It's interesting, then, that the digital services group is hiring. JPMorgan currently has four vice president (VP) level roles open in Hudson and Halamish's team. Two are in New York and two are in London.
These aren't traditional back-end tech positions. Candidates need only a bachelor’s degree in engineering, finance, computer science, information systems or a related field, plus previous experience in, "business, consulting, startup, engineering, product, investing and design thinking.”
Hudson and Halamish are looking for digital product managers in both London and New York who will focus on the mining of big data sets and work with natural language processing. They are also hunting for someone in London to lead projects centered around creating new client service products. But perhaps the most interesting role is within the unit’s new Developer program, which is essentially an API store that allows corporate and investment banking clients to plug in to J.P. Morgan data. CEO Jamie Dimon highlighted the program in his latest annual letter to shareholders. The New York-based role will focus on trade execution and electronic trading.
Whether these roles are a fit or not, following Halamish and Hudson should provide a window into what projects J.P. Morgan is prioritizing and how they’re allocating the bank’s tech budget. They’re the ones who say yes or no to prospective front-office tech initiatives.
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