Chief Financial Officer, JPMorgan Chase
Women looking to balance their high-powered careers with a family life can take inspiration from Marianne Lake.
"You can have it all," the U.K. native said in a recent interview. "But you just might not be able to have all of it at the same time."
Lake is in position to know. She has taken on a seemingly impossible challenge — raising three young children as a single mother, while simultaneously serving as chief financial officer at the nation's largest bank by asset size.
"It's about thinking every single day and every week about what is urgent and what's important," said Lake.
"It's not like I get it right every day. I just hope to get it right generally. The one advantage that you have from being maybe slightly older when I had my children is that I've been around the block a bit, and I know how to manage my time. And I do have reasonable help, so that doesn't hurt."
Lake's career could hardly be more demanding. She plays a leading role in JPMorgan Chase's earnings calls, which are heavily scrutinized since the quarterly results are considered a harbinger for the industry. She serves as a member of the bank's operating committee. And she leads a team of more than 10,000 employees.
Inside the bank, Lake has become a champion of using robotics to automate repetitive tasks. She said that the automation push, which is still in its early stages, has been warmly received by employees, since it is freeing them up to handle more interesting work.
Asked whether the adoption of robotics will eventually lead to job cuts, Lake said: "I'm not going to pretend that we're not interested in the efficiency aspect of it. Of course we are. But it doesn't necessarily mean that in the foreseeable future there's a structural change in the size of the workforce."
Lake is widely seen as one of the top contenders to succeed Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan's 61-year-old CEO. When asked about that possibility, she said that she loves her current job. Then she added: "I'm 100% committed to the company. I'll serve at the pleasure of the board in any capacity they want me to for as long as they'll have me."
— Kevin Wack