The international banking powerhouse known as J.P. Morgan Investment Bank is a subsidiary of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co, one of the oldest financial services firms in the world. It also encompasses J.P. Morgan Cazenove, a joint venture that created one of the UK’s heavyweight investment banks.
- Very focused on training and development
- Work hard, play hard atmosphere
- Strong M&A house
- Management is rated very highly
- Firm-wide diversity is given high priority
- Bureaucracy leads to unpredictability of work flow
- Could improve compensation
- Sometimes stuffy, overcrowded offices with little privacy
- Promotion policies are still not completely meritocratic (time-served rather than on ability)
The international banking powerhouse, J.P. Morgan Investment Bank, is a subsidiary of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co, one of the oldest financial services firms in the world. It can trace its ancestry back to 1838 when an American by the name of George Peabody established a merchant bank in London, humbly designating it George Peabody & Co. In 1854, Junius S. Morgan joined as partner, and the firm became known as J.S. Morgan & Company. Seven years on, Junius’s son, J. Pierpont, established J.P. Morgan & Company: a New York sales office for securities, underwritten by his father. Operating both sides of the Atlantic, the Morgans brought capital from Europe that was crucial to U.S. growth. In 1895, five years after Junius’s death, J. Pierpont consolidated the family businesses under the J.P. Morgan name.
A Bit of Background
The ‘House of Morgan’, as it came to be known, grew in leaps and bounds and secured some of the most lucrative deals around: it financed the formation of the United States Steel Corporation; supplied the United States’ government millions in gold to float a bond issue and restore the treasury surplus; and at the turn of the 19th century financed and secured a spot as a dominant railroad transporter in the US.
J.P. Morgan’s growth continued unimpeded until the enactment of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1933. This edict imposed barriers between commercial and investment banking, triggering deep structural changes within J.P. Morgan and prompting several of its partners to jump ship to form another investment banking giant: Morgan Stanley.
J.P. Morgan Chase, in its current structure, is the result of a combination of several large U.S. banking companies, formed over the last decade. When the world was hit by the 2008 recession, J.P. Morgan played a significant role in helping to manage the crisis by the acquisition of global investment bank Bear Stearns and has come through almost unscathed – in 2011 the firm has recorded a 47% profit jump for the full-year of $17.4bn.
A Closer Look at Divisions & Departments
Today, J.P. Morgan is a diversified financial services firm and the J.P. Morgan brand encompasses six key business areas: investment banking, worldwide securities services, private banking, asset management, one equity partners and private client services.
February 2005 brought big news on the Ibanking side: J.P. Morgan combined its UK investment banking business with London-based Cazenove Group’s investment bank to create a jointly owned and highly respected company – J.P. Morgan Cazenove, an entity that provides investment banking advice and services to clients in the UK and Ireland.
The investment banking division at J.P. Morgan is divided by teams: industry, M&A and capital markets. Industry teams include consumer health care and retail, diversified industries and transportation, natural resources, financial institutions, metals and mining, real estate and technology, media and telecommunications.
The firm’s research unit is divided into three main groups: equity, economics and global markets. J.P. Morgan’s equity research unit, which has approximately 600 equity analysts, operates primarily out of North America and Europe, but also has significant operations in Asia. Economics offers views on markets around the globe, and global markets covers fixed income, credit, derivatives, emerging markets, FX, structured finance, technical and bond index research.Read all 115 employee quotes
Landing a job at J.P. Morgan Chase is no walk in the park. The firm is very discerning and the rigorous hiring process ensures that only candidates of the highest calibre get their foot in the door.
With international opportunities on offer, the firm recruits graduates and students from top universities across the UK and the continent. The global structure of J.P. Morgan involves working with clients and colleagues worldwide so speaking a second language could be a real deal maker. Also keep in mind that all candidates, whether they are applying for graduate schemes or internships, need to be analytically minded and possess a good understanding of the financial markets, with advanced numeracy skills considered a given. It’s good to know that a business or finance degree is not considered a must, while a bit of creativity and entrepreneurial spirit will help you score during the application process.
The Recruitment Process:
The recruitment process for internships and graduate schemes varies by department, but all applicants can expect to fill in an online application form that will assess your educational background, motivation, previous work experience and any extracurricular activities. If you make the cut, you may be asked to complete an online numerical test that lasts for about 20 minutes and assesses your analytical and logical thinking. Most people will have to practice in advance to pass so ensure you have a look at some sample tests beforehand.
If you’ve got the X-factor, you will be invited to an assessment centre that will include a number of interviews – which can be competency-based, technical or both – along with another numerical reasoning test, group exercises, a case study, and a presentation. This stage is known to differ by division so while the assessment day will be the final round for some applicants, other candidates applying for asset management or technology roles will have additional interviews in between.
J.P. Morgan will test candidates’ knowledge and qualities thoroughly so expect to be not only intellectually stretched, but also be pushed on an interpersonal level. Group exercises are designed to examine your teamwork skills and it’s also important to get yourself noticed by speaking up. The presentation will examine your ability to process information concisely so staying focused is the secret ingredient to success here.
Interviewers will test your motivation and knowledge hence be prepared to be grilled on your strengths and weaknesses, as well as your choice of career and firm. Now is the time to sell your skills so don’t be shy and show off what you’ve got – from your leadership skills to your commercial awareness. The wait won’t be long afterwards as the firm is fast in getting back to successful candidates with offers known to be made within a few days.
Graduate and Postgraduate Positions
Most graduates eager to launch their careers at J.P. Morgan will start out as interns. In particular, all graduate roles in Investment Banking and Sales, Trading and Research divisions are filled exclusively by those that have completed an internship with the firm. Elsewhere, graduate opportunities are available in the same business areas as internship positions with the addition of private banking which is only offered in the European offices.
While analysts can take their pick from the eight departments on offer – Asset Management, Finance, IB Risk, Operations, Securities Services and Clearing, Technology and Treasury Services – they need to fit the trainee profile, which consists of a mishmash of various factors such as tenacity, commercial awareness, academic excellence, stress resilience, and analytical aptitude.
Analysts in IB risk, investment banking or sales, trading and research will start their formal training in the UK before being flown out to New York to complete the initial training programme, which is aimed at expanding participants’ international mindset and basic knowledge of finance. However, all new recruits can expect to kick-start their training with an intense induction in August with desk-specific learning opportunities available throughout the graduate schemes. J.P. Morgan encourages graduates to formally qualify in their chosen area of expertise, so for instance, if you’re a finance grad you can work towards the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants qualification.
Postgraduate roles are available for quantitative researchers with a PhD or Master’s degree in a relevant discipline. Quants will join analysts in New York, where they will complete a dedicated two-week training programme that will prepare the new recruits for the tasks that lie ahead – such as developing mathematical models, evaluating quantitative methodologies or implementing risk measurement models.
MBA students are advised to apply for J.P. Morgan’s London-based MBA summer programme where they will experience life as an associate whilst also participating in an intense training scheme.
Internships for Everyone: Undergraduates, Masters/PhDs and MBAs
J.P. Morgan offers internships for those keen to experience what’s going on behind the scenes. Think this is a piece of cake? Wrong – internships come with real responsibilities and if your supervisors like you, you might even be offered a full-time position. Indeed, J.P. Morgan fosters a culture of retention with most graduate positions – such as in investment banking – only being filled by former interns.
Wannabe analysts, associates, and quants can all apply for a summer internship at the firm, but make sure that you are eligible and fulfil all the necessary requirements: analyst internships are mainly aimed at penultimate year students, while those keen to embark on a summer internship in investment banking ideally need to be proficient in a European language. Associate internships are designed for MBA students from leading business schools and quantitative research placements are suitable for candidates with a PhD or advanced Master’s degree.
Internships, which are also offered on an off-cycle basis, can be taken up in various business sectors including asset management, sales, trading and research, investment banking, operations and technology. You can expect summer internships to give you in-house training at the start of the time that you will spend with the firm. Tasks will depend on the division, but analysts are usually busy reporting results, researching or working on transactions. Associates, on the other hand, will put their leadership qualities to use while quants are given a full project to work on. All interns, however, can expect to work alongside major J.P. Morgan bankers and big clients, including CFOs and CEOs, so if you want to boost your CV, you better apply soon.
Graduate Recruitment Info
Application deadlines: 25th November 2012 or 13th January 2013 dependant on business area and location
No. of employees firm-wide: Approx. 226,623
Graduate starting salary: Competitive
Interns: £1,000 to £2,500 / week (Approx.)
Analysts: £35,000 - £50,000 (Approx.)
Associates: £45,000 - £75,000 (Approx.)
Vice President: £70,000 + (Approx.)
Sales, Trading & Research
Securities Services & Clearing
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London Head Office:
25 Bank Street
London E14 5JP
No. of offices: 60+