Most Powerful Women in Finance: No. 16, J.P. Morgan's Liz Myers
Managing Director and Head of Global Capital Equity Markets, J.P. Morgan
Liz Myers credits her mentor Jimmy Lee, a widely admired vice chairman of JPMorgan Chase who died four years ago, as an influence in the approach she brings to leading a 220-member team.
Lee advised Myers “to identify and focus on the people I would take with me if I were ever to leave JPMorgan and start Liz Myers Securities Inc.,” she recalled. “Over time, I found those people were not just the big revenue generators, but also the ones who spoke up when they saw something that wasn’t working efficiently, or were the first to volunteer for a new initiative in the group.”
Last spring, Myers, who heads the global capital equity markets group in the company's investment banking unit, channeled that experience to launch an initiative she called “Change One Thing.” The effort encourages everyone on her team to propose improvements that hold the potential to benefit the team and its business.
“The changes I have asked everyone to focus on could be, but don’t have to be, vast, sweeping changes,” Myers said. “It is more about being empowered to propose ideas that add up to an even stronger culture for all of us, and improving the lives of our employees on a professional and potentially personal level.”
The initiative reflects Myers’ experience at the outset of her career at JPMorgan, which she joined 27 years ago as an analyst. Whether it involved suggesting ways to speed the line for cars that ferried bankers home late at night or to improve the workflow in word processing, “the culture made me comfortable speaking up when things were impeding my productivity,” Myers said.
After a relatively young member of her team landed in the hospital for emergency heart surgery, Myers and her management team relied on “Change One Thing” to deepen the investment bank's commitment to wellness.
The team became more vocal about existing initiatives like protecting weekends for junior staff and encouraging people to truly disconnect on vacations. Myers even hosted a yoga class during a companywide wellness week to highlight the importance of managing the daily demands that her team faces.
"Change One Thing" also builds on work by Myers to inspire a new generation of leaders, who, she said, “are seeking more personal connection with colleagues and a deeper sense of meaning from their work.”