An interview with Anne Louise Burnett, managing director in foreign exchange sales
Do you think there are enough women in senior positions in the financial services industry?
There is room for improvement, but there are a number of women in senior positions in financial services companies, including J.P. Morgan, who are setting examples for future leaders. The question is where to find those people.
Why do you think that is?
Having spent a lot of time interviewing graduates, when I ask the question "did you learn about finance as a potential career opportunity in school or university?" the answer from most women is "no". They either fell into it or heard a little bit about it through their circle of friends. There's a real problem in getting the information to women who would probably be excellent employees. That's why we've launched Winning Women.
What is Winning Women?
Winning Women is a programme designed to help us meet the most talented female students. The goal is to educate these women about the opportunities available to them in financial services and to dispel any misconceptions about the industry being a tough place for women to succeed. It's also a great chance to meet people and make contacts.
What are the qualities needed to succeed at J.P. Morgan?
We look for people who have strength, intelligence and character. We want people who are talented, motivated and bright. J.P. Morgan offers people that fit that bill unbelievable opportunities and the training necessary to build a remarkable career.
An interview with Samantha Ngapanoun, first year analyst in investment banking division
Can you tell us a bit about your background, how you came to work for J.P. Morgan?
I studied engineering at university, which was part of the Grandes Ecoles system in Paris. My course included a one-year exchange program at HEC business school. I also spent a year as an intern at a management consultancy firm before finishing my studies. In my final year at university I attended a Winning Women event at J.P. Morgan, and that helped me decide to come here.
How did you find the event?
It was extremely helpful to meet people from all parts of the bank, from investment banking to the trading floor. Anne Louise Burnett was on the panel and being amongst people with that kind of drive was very inspiring. It was very encouraging to see that there were women in senior positions throughout the firm.
What exactly did you do?
On the first morning several speakers gave us an introduction to what they do, describing their typical working day. Then, in the afternoon, we were given various case studies. I remember, for example, that we were asked to devise a strategy to sell a particular company. There were also team-building games. All the tasks were put in context of different jobs at the bank and were clearly related to the work that J.P. Morgan does. By the end of the day I had a much better understanding of what a career in banking might be like.
So why did you choose investment banking in the end, and why J.P. Morgan?
The biggest attraction for me was the variety of disciplines and opportunities within one industry. Investment banking is not just one job. I like to be challenged constantly so I wanted to work at a firm where I could do many things. At J.P. Morgan you have the opportunity to work in many different areas, which may not be open to you at a smaller firm. You can reach out to people from all over the world and get information. Everything is more efficient. You can see now how we're weathering the downturn much better than others and we're consistently getting better at what we do. And, of course, I could see that the calibre of people that they had here was outstanding. I said to myself: "I need to be part of that". I was given offers from various banks but the people that interviewed me here really set this firm apart in terms of its culture and values.
How have you found it so far?
From day one, people here will go out of their way to make you feel part of something. We have a lot of team events throughout the year. People will come up to you and ask for your view on transactions. Senior people value your opinion here. If you have good ideas they will be presented to the client. It's a great motivating factor to be able to share your own views directly with clients at an early stage of your career.