JPMorgan’s new CFO describes as a thoughtful Excel expert with a knack for mentoring
Jeremy Barnum is not the thirsty type of load and energy that people often associate with those at the top of Wall Street.
Instead, the man who this week became the CFO of JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) is a studious, detail-oriented individual who enjoys coaching junior staff and doesn’t let his ego get in the way of success. of the others, according to half. a dozen associates who spoke to Reuters.
Barnum, 48, would fit in just as well with teaching the students in an elbow sweater as he did with presenting JPMorgan’s strategy in a tailored suit, several said.
“He struck me as thoughtful, serious and transparent,” said Boaz Weinstein, a hedge fund manager who interacted with Barnum in the late 1990s, when Barnum was working in JPMorgan’s credit trading business and the The credit derivatives market was in its infancy.
“He succeeded in building one of the best offices on the street.”
JPMorgan declined to make Barnum available for an interview.
The bank’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, described Barnum as an “extraordinary talent” known for his “deep intellect and integrity” when he announced his rise on Tuesday as part of a broader management reshuffle. Read more
Barnum joined JPMorgan in 1994 and had been leading its global research division since February. Previously, he was CFO of two business units and Sales Director.
Although he is well known in parts of Wall Street and within JPMorgan, Barnum has made few appearances at conferences or meetings with regulators in Washington and is not the type to be spotted during important social events.
But behind the scenes, Barnum has been influential at JPMorgan, his current and former colleagues said.
He’s the kind of leader who enjoys interacting with younger employees and digging into the guts of companies to understand how they operate, they said. He rarely makes an important decision without considering everything that happened before something went wrong in his office.
It was not uncommon to see Barnum sitting at the desk of a junior staff member, going through Excel sheets to find out how they came to their conclusions, said Al Moffitt, head of capital and liquidity management at JPMorgan in the treasury department, who previously worked for Barnum.
“The very morning he had substantive conversations with the C-suite, he was presenting tips and tricks on Excel spreadsheets,” Moffit said.
In 2005, JPMorgan let Barnum embark on a broader restructuring of its credit trading business, which had experienced a difficult previous year. He then headed the London office of hedge fund Blue Mountain Capital Management before returning to JPMorgan as a trader in 2007.
His star rose after JPMorgan bought Bear Stearns the following year, several people said. The bank needed people who understood the risks they were absorbing, and senior executives took note of Barnum’s talents, they said.
Barnum later became the “go-to person” when JPMorgan implemented the post-crisis Volcker rule which required banks to prove they were not trading speculatively to earn profits.
Dimon previously described the rule as something that required a trader, lawyer, and psychotherapist to be implemented properly.
“He knows how to tackle complex problems and breaks them down into simple tasks,” said Shahraab Ahmad, chief investment officer at hedge fund Decca Capital, who worked for Barnum after joining the bank as an intern.
Barnum spent time in his youth in Spain, where he learned to speak Spanish fluently. He returned to prep school in New England and attended Harvard University.
Some who know him say banking was not a pre-established choice, calling him a “true intellectual” and noting that he is married to an author and just as easily could have become an academic.
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