Loyola MBA and MSF students participate in JPMorgan Chase town hall with CEO Jamie Dimon
Loyola University Maryland MBA and Master of Science in Finance students participated in a special town hall meeting with JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon on April 4 in Washington, DC following the release of Dimon’s Annual Report Letter to shareholders. Yahoo Finance editor in chief Andy Serwer moderated the event, which was held at the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America and was streamed live on Yahoo Finance.
Approximately 150 graduate students from business schools in the greater Mid-Atlantic region were invited to the town hall. Representing Loyola’s MBA and MSF programs were students Jessie Austin, Elizabeth Colgan, Joseph Czochanski, Tim Dill, Todd Dunda, Sumit Joshi, Arjun Sutha, Joshua Tarini, and Ronnie Wooten.
The town hall was scheduled to coincide with JPMorgan Chase’s release of their annual report letter and to bring together top performing graduate students to review the letter and ask questions pertaining its three focus areas: the firm’s business growth, responsible regulatory reform, and public policy that creates inclusive economic growth and opportunity.
Mr. Dimon engaged the audience of graduate business students to expand upon the letter’s themes, including the roles that businesses such as JPMorgan Chase play in addressing social and economic challenges.
Ronnie Wooten, Business Services Officer at BB&T and a current student in the Master of Science in Finance program, was called on to ask this question: “Mr. Dimon, you spoke in great detail about the prevalence of technology and online services within the banking industry and how JP Morgan intends on greatly expanding its capabilities. However, in your letter to shareholders you speak a lot about your company's special culture and the high level of client service that you offer. These are primarily a function of grassroots efforts done by branch workers and commercial bankers like myself. Are you concerned about your company's ability to distinguish itself from your competition as more emphasis is placed on technology and less on workers?”
Dimon’s response reflected on the tension between technological automation and human employment: "I always point out that these computers models used in loan decisions cannot tell you anything about an individual's character or experience, which are extremely important variables. While the number of branch workers will likely decline in the future, we will always need bankers in our communities to make comprehensive judgments and offer consultation to our clients. Computers cannot do this. Individual Bankers will never completely go away."
Mr. Dimon also spoke at length on principles that could be used to guide regulation, such as coherence of rules across regulatory agencies and a global harmonization of regulation to enhance fair trade and completion. On creating growth and opportunity, Mr. Dimon noted that “Our problems are significant, and they are not the singular purview of either political party. We need coherent, consistent, comprehensive and coordinated policies that help fix these problems.”
Loyola’s graduate students were impressed by the event.
“I felt honored to attend JPMorgan’s Letter to the Shareholders Event on behalf of Loyola University Maryland. While Mr. Dimon’s letter spoke to the strengths and weaknesses of JP Morgan, his presentation and the subsequent questions spoke more to the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. economy as a whole,” said Elizabeth Coglan, Registered Client Associate at RBC and a current student in the MSF program. “The current state of politics is perhaps best described as polarized. Rather than succumb to the binary nature of the media, and the crowd for that matter, he held steadfast in his opinion that the issues plaguing the U.S. are not associated with one party, and that we as citizens should be held accountable for solving them.”
Todd Dunda, VP of Finance at Marriott and current Executive MBA student, felt the town hall illustrated many of the management themes studied in the program.
“I really enjoyed the message from Mr. Dimon in that he referenced a number of items that we discussed in Professor Tony Mento's management class, particularly the importance of a strong company culture, leadership, and a focus on continuous learning to improve the business and employee growth,” said Dunda.
Coglan echoed the same sentiments: “On a more personal level, I had much admiration for [Dimon’s] composure, confidence, and wit while addressing the questions and concerns of the audience. Being able to witness firsthand how he spoke, let alone what he spoke about, was a great learning experience for me.”
Additional information recapping the town hall event is available at finance.yahoo.com/live/jpmchase.