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“Prepare for the worst, hope for the best!” Most iconic woman in banking, Mary Callahan Erdoes, on her outlook for the future

April 20, 2022

“Prepare for the worst, hope for the best!” Most iconic woman in banking, Mary Callahan Erdoes, on her outlook for the future

Mary Callahan Erdoes

JPMorgan Asset & Wealth Management CEO

J.P. Morgan’s CEO of Asset and Wealth Management, Mary Callahan Erdoes, has her finger on the pulse of global markets.

J.P. Morgan’s CEO of Asset and Wealth Management, Mary Callahan Erdoes, has her finger on the pulse of the global markets. On this episode of the Walker Webcast, she joins Willy to discuss the economic impact of the war in Ukraine, J.P. Morgan’s defensive strategy pertaining to the markets, her experience as a woman in a male-dominated industry, the importance of diversity and inclusion efforts, and so much more.

To begin, Willy asks Mary to identify the common underlying feelings lingering in professional discussions regarding the market we live in today. The world’s emotions of uncertainty, confusion, caution, and preparedness are at play.  While crisis is not a new concept to the world and this particular industry, how we think about and manage it is the most important thing. Right now, Mary’s job is to ensure that the companies she deals with have performed their own risk management and prepare portfolios to sustain the future.  In their 2021 shareholder letter, J.P. Morgan warned that they are prepared for drastically higher rates dependent on how the war in Ukraine pans out.  Discussing the complexities of managing assets overseas, Mary says this crisis is particularly tricky now because different governments are giving different rules.

Mary has grown AUM in the business from $1.9 trillion in 2011 to $4.3 trillion today, or $657 million of additional AUM per day for a decade. J.P. Morgan Asset and Wealth Management helps clients with alternative investments, large-cap bonds, stocks, international cash management, and more. Their goal was never to be the largest asset management firm, but rather the very best. They achieve this goal by hiring great talent every day and conditioning them to do first-class business in a first-class way. She stresses that she never wants her team to be selling anything, but rather providing the right solutions if they are needed.

Mary reveals that the best advisors are the ones with the highest client satisfaction. The top advisors are curious, focused, intense, and dedicated, while the lowest advisors are simply the newest ones. Given the evolving financial services landscape and increase in startups, organizations must realize that everybody is a competitor. In fact, the competitors we should be most worried about are those we have yet to hear of. It’s important to have a clear view of your competitive landscape and an idea of what is coming.

Every day, J.P. Morgan utilizes extra capital to invest in new things, give it back to shareholders, and brainstorm other ways to allocate it down to the marginal dollar. Looking at the publicly traded stocks, the annual letter points out that Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple had a combined market cap of $500 billion in 2010, which has grown to $6.9 trillion. Mary relates the consolidation of those two companies to public markets. While this is impressive, it is not new for single companies to take up so much space in the market.

Since the murder of George Floyd, J.P. Morgan has done a lot in the areas of diversity and inclusion spearheaded by Peter Scher. On this front, they committed $30 billion of investments to be made in both equity investments and lending to different areas of the world to make a difference. Organizations should see the importance of having a diverse slate for the right reasons. Mary believes it has helped tremendously to have everybody adjust their thinking on what it means to create a more inclusive economy and world. J.P. Morgan is just one of the companies embracing this.


Learn more about Mary Callahan Erdoes and  J.P. Morgan Asset and Wealth Management. 
Check out Walter & Dunlop’s website.

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