JPMorgan's most employable people are not bankers or traders

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JPMorgan's most employable people are not bankers or traders

If you're looking for a route out of JPMorgan and into one of the top slots in the private equity industry, you might not want to work in investment banking or even in sales and trading. Christine Moy just left JPM to become a partner at Apollo Capital Management, even though she's not your typical investment banking-to-private equity mover.

At JPMorgan, Moy specialized in digital payments and the Metaverse at JPMorgan's blockchain platform, Onyx. At Apollo, she will be the fund's all-new head of digital asset strategy.

Onyx is like "a whole new division within JPMorgan," said Moy, speaking a year ago. Back in n January 2021, she said Onyx already had 400 banks signed up to its blockchain-based payments network and that in Onyx the bank was building one of the "key foundational components of a next generation financial system," in the form of a programmable ecosystem that joins up cash and collateral payments systems. Moy launched JPM's Onyx lounge in the Metaverse in February 2022, and her resume reads like a list of DeFi hit points. 

Given that Apollo was paying its associates $550k last time we looked, plenty of other people at JPMorgan would probably like to earn multiples of that by joining the fund at partner level. Moy's career demonstrates the benefit of getting ahead of the curve - she worked in syndicated loans, securitization and commodities at the start of her career before stepping sideways into product management for the private bank and becoming JPMorgan's head of blockchain and crypto back in 2016 when one bitcoin was worth less than $500. Similarly, Omar Farooq, Onyx's CEO, worked in technology and controls at the investment bank, before getting interested in blockchain in 2017.

Moy says JPMorgan's Onyx team is "comprised of stars." The bank might need to do a bit more to keep them in future. Retention might be one reason why it recently promoted Naveen Mallela, Global Head Onyx Coin Systems in Singapore, to MD.

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