1 Thing From JPMorgan Investor Day That Surprised Me

Yesterday was investor day at JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) . In going through the mountain of information provided -- as both an investor and a Motley Fool writer -- so far I've come across one item in particular that perhaps shouldn't have surprised me, but did: the depth of talent on the JPMorgan management bench.

The deepest bench around?
Page 28 of the Firm Overview (which can be found in the Investor Relations/Investor Presentations section of the JPMorgan website) presents a classic management tree overview of the bank's top leadership, giving a quick but informative snapshot of the main players at JPMorgan, and key points of their time and tenure at the bank and in the industry.

Naturally, Jamie Dimon is at the top of the tree. Dimon joined the company in 2004 as president, and became CEO and COB in 2006, just in time to shepherd the superbank through the worst economic times the U.S. and the banking industry had seen since the Great Depression.

Like Dimon, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) CEO Brian Moynihan also joined his superbank in 2004, though Moynihan only assumed the role of CEO in 2009. From that first-day-on-the-job starting point, however, the histories of the two banks diverge drastically, with B of A still struggling to find its way out of financial crisis difficulties. To be fair to Moynihan, though, he did inherit a terrible mess.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS  ) CEO Lloyd Blankfein became CEO in 2006, though he started at the firm as a trader on a commodities desk in 1981. Regarding CEOs, at least, that's about as deep a tenure at a firm as you can hope for. Here's how the remainder of JPMorgan's management shakes out:

  • Frank Bisignano and Matt Zames are JPMorgan's co-COOs. Bisignano has 7 years at JPMorgan and 31 years in the industry. Zames has 8 years at JPMorgan and 20 years in the industry. It's rumored both are being groomed as possible successors to Dimon.
  • Marianne Lake is the bank's CFO, with 13 years at JPMorgan and 21 in the industry. John Hogan is chief risk officer. Hogan has 13 years at JPMorgan and 24 years in the industry. Neither are positions to be taken lightly, or to have inexperienced people in, especially after last year's London Whale trading debacle.
  • Mike Cavanaugh and Daniel Pinto are co-CEOs of corporate and investment banking, and are also rumored for possible eventual succession to CEO. And both have plenty of experience to offer. Cavanaugh has 13 years at JPMorgan and 25 years in the industry. Pinto has 30 and 30 years, respectively. 

Good companies + good people = good investments
That's a lot of people with a lot of years not just in the industry, but also at JPMorgan -- right at the top of the bank -- and I think that speaks volumes for the strength of its culture.

We've all worked for enough companies to know that if a workplace is unpleasant, people generally move on. If an organization isn't offering interesting or meaningful work, or the chance to move up the ladder and make more money -- or to move up the ladder to make a difference -- the kind of people who want to rise into the ranks of top management are going to find someplace else to do it at.

And you want people at the top of any company to know the company, to like the company, and to believe in the company and what it can do. It's going to make the company a better business, and therefore a better investment. JPMorgan Chase has that in spades.

I'll be reporting more of my key findings from JPMorgan Chase investment day over the next week, so stay tuned. In the meantime, if you want to learn more about JPMorgan from the Motley Fool's senior banking analyst, check out our new Motley Fool report on the superbank.

Ilan Moscovitz will tell you where the key opportunities for JPMorgan lie, where its core growth will come from, and the potential business risks. You'll also get even more expert analysis of its leadership team. For immediate access, just click here now.


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