Most Powerful Women in Finance: No. 17, JPMorgan Chase's Liz Myers

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Head of Global Equity Capital Markets, J.P. Morgan

Sometimes you just need to get the lawyers out of the room and let people talk. That’s the conclusion that Liz Myers came to while putting together a new training program for J.P. Morgan.

The program, which rolled out to all investment banking employees last year, focuses on culture and conduct. It gives the staff a chance to hear senior managers share actual business challenges and sometimes failures that they have experienced. “Control partners” — read: lawyers and compliance officers — are specifically barred from the sessions to allow for an open discussion of what works and what doesn’t.

The program has been so effective that the JPMorgan Chase unit now considers it a best practice for training and is implementing it for employees working in other areas.

The training is part of a broader effort spearheaded by Myers to strengthen the corporate culture at the investment bank. That effort includes a new set of culture and conduct metrics meant to reinforce four core principles: client service, operational excellence, integrity and teamwork. “Instilling the right principles across an organization must be a proactive effort,” Myers said.

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The strength of the corporate culture helped Myers’ equity capital markets group maintain its dominant position, continuing an eight-year run of leading the industry in key metrics such as number of deals, fees generated and year-over-year increase in fees earned.

Myers is a strong believer in developing new talent, and often that means giving people responsibilities for which they may not be entirely ready. “It is far too difficult to judge what a person ‘may’ do if given authority,” she said. “It is a more accurate assessment to delegate responsibility and promptly use their actions as the litmus test.”

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