JPMorgan revamps digital strategy team after three leaders exit

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JPMorgan Chase is staking its consumer-banking strategy on digital technology. In 2020, that push will be spearheaded by a new team of executives.

Three of the group's top leaders — the chief executive officer, the head of digital technology and the chief of digital customer experience — have moved to new roles or left the firm in the past few weeks, according to memos seen by Bloomberg:

  • Bill Wallace, who's been CEO of digital strategy since 2016 and worked at JPMorgan for 26 years, is stepping aside to spend more time on his personal interests. Wallace, who will remain a senior adviser, will be replaced by Allison Beer.
  • Meng Chee, who left as head of digital customer experience to become chief product officer at Walmart, will be replaced by Davina Anthony, reporting to Beer.
  • James Young, who was in charge of building and operating the bank's digital platform as head of digital technology, moved to a new role leading technology for the corporate and investment bank's Asia-Pacific team. The firm hasn't yet named a replacement.

"Our deep bench of talent is a competitive advantage — these internal moves represent that," Pablo Rodriguez, a spokesman for the New York-based company, said a statement.

Goldman Sachs has seen its own shake-up in its technology ranks in recent weeks, including the departure of three top leaders in the trading unit. They headed some of the firm's biggest initiatives that were key to CEO David Solomon's growth strategy.

JPMorgan unveiled a buzzy, "digital everything" strategy in 2018, and has been spending a chunk of its $11.4 billion annual tech budget on initiatives designed to keep the bank ahead of changes in how consumers use financial services. The focus is on technology that makes it easier for customers to open accounts, send and spend money, and manage their finances without having to walk into a branch.

The goal is to appeal to customers who are flocking to easier-to-use mobile apps created by technology companies.

But some of JPMorgan's flashiest digital experiments failed to take hold. In June, the bank shut down its digital bank, Finn, a year after rolling out the brand nationally. A month later, it cut ties with fintech company On Deck, whose technology platform it had used to originate small-business loans online. In August, the bank said it would shut down the Chase Pay app, an about-face on a product introduced four years ago to compete with rivals such as Apple.

JPMorgan Co-President Gordon Smith, who oversees the consumer unit, has set a goal of making JPMorgan "the easiest bank for customers to do business with," and has been working to implement technology to reduce costs and attract more business.

The bank plans to host an investor day later this month, when it's expected to provide strategy details and its outlook for expenses and revenue for the year.

Bloomberg News