J.P. Morgan: Investing in Young Talent
Founded in New York with a legacy over two centuries in the making, J.P. Morgan has been in Singapore for more than five decades, and continues to woo graduates actively, growing a pipeline of talent.
Shamady Matnin, J.P. Morgan’s Singapore Campus Recruitment Lead, said that the firm hosts experiential events, such as the Asset and Wealth Management Challenge where students from different countries compete with one another by completing case studies.
“(Student participants) can get mentorship opportunities and the chance to present their cases to senior leaders. From there, some students do get fast-tracked to final interviews leading to job offers, simply based on their participation in the event,” he said.
J.P. Morgan also reaches out to students outside Singapore, according to Matnin, who said that the firm runs the Online Academy series of virtual events aimed at recruiting global talent. Students participating in the Online Academy have opportunities to listen to professionals and experts speak about industry trends and the different work that they do.
Beyond a strong dedication for student engagement and recruiting young talents, J.P. Morgan also demonstrates a robust commitment in grooming graduate employees, spending US$325 million on training and development each year.
Kenny Chiang, an Analyst from the Wealth Management division at J.P. Morgan benefitted from the firm’s training scheme. Having been with the firm for two years, Chiang is on a three-year analyst programme, which started off with a six-week training that took him across the globe.
“I spent one week in Hong Kong where we met our colleagues in Asia, specifically those from Taiwan and Hong Kong. We also met with the senior management there and the programme continued with five weeks in the United States,” he said.
Chiang said he learned about the historical background and legacy of J.P. Morgan, as well as the structure of the firm and other parts of its business while he was at its United States headquarters.
As a graduate from Singapore Management University with a degree in Economics and a second major in Finance, Chiang said the analyst programme gives all a level playing field. Although the analysts come from different academic backgrounds, they were introduced to basic technical skills relevant to their job during the training.
Selena Zhang, Associate, Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) Technology, joined the firm via its two-year development programme in technology, after graduating from the National University of Singapore with first class honours in Information Systems in 2014.
Zhang, too, gained a rewarding experience from her time at J.P. Morgan so far. She had the opportunity to travel abroad for one week of training in Hong Kong and a five-week technology programme in London.
“J.P. Morgan gave me great opportunities to network with other analysts around the globe. I still keep in touch with the connections that I made during the programme,” she said.
Mobility opportunities are also available for graduate employees later in their careers, according to Matnin.
“It is possible for you to say ‘In the next three years, I want to be in New York’, or ‘I want to be in London’, or ‘I want to be in Hong Kong’. We are able to provide that platform for our analysts because of how big we are.”
“I’ve been with J.P. Morgan for seven years. I started in Hong Kong and was there for two years before moving to Singapore. I’ve taken on different responsibilities and roles, and was exposed to a lot of career opportunities,” he said.
Support through thick and thin
Besides formal training and development programmes, graduates can also look forward to support and guidance on a daily basis.
Zhang receives strong support for her fast-paced and challenging role in CIB Technology.
“We get a lot of advice and guidance from the management here. They encourage us to discuss our ideas and support good ideas,” she said.
Chiang said the analyst network is a close-knit group which “goes through thick and thin together” and that his fellow analysts gave him valuable advice for similar challenges encountered.
“We also have programme managers, who are essentially senior executives managing the analyst batch. They’re very open and always available for me,” he said.
“Whenever I face challenges on the job that I feel like I’m not able to share with the rest of my batch, I can always reach out to my manager.”
A nurturing environment for meeting goals
When asked on what she enjoyed most at J.P. Morgan, Zhang said it is the people.
“What enjoy I most are the personal touches. When I solved some problems for our traders, they thanked me. When I discuss solutions with my colleagues, I get their support and they give me more comprehensive explanations to build better projects,” she said.
“With my managers, we are able to have very open conversations about my career development beyond just accomplishing daily jobs.”
Valuing the people he gets to work with as well, Chiang said graduates can hear views from experienced portfolio managers during morning meetings.
“It’s the intellectual capacity that we have as a firm. You also get to hear views from bankers who have done this for over 30 years, and they advise you on how to handle clients,” he said.
“Whenever I feel challenged, I go back and think about my goals. Having a three-year programme means you know what you’re working towards. At the end of three years, analysts go through an assessment centre to see if they’re ready to become associates. There’s something I’m looking towards, which keeps me in check and on track to meet that target.”