JPMORGAN’S JIMMY LEE: The Best Career Advice I Ever Got Came From Jack Welch

Jimmy Lee
Jimmy Lee, JP Morgan AP Images

We’ve been asking Wall Street vets for the best piece of career advice they received and what they would tell young folks in finance today.

Last night, we caught up with Jimmy Lee — JPMorgan Chase Vice Chairman and Co-Chairman of JPM’s investment bank — at Harlem RBI’s “Bids for Kids” gala. Lee was being honored alongside baseball legend Mariano Rivera.

We asked Lee, who is known for being the best dealmaker on Wall Street, about the best piece of advice he received.

“I would say [former GE CEO] Jack Welch really helped me a lot in my career in giving me advice,” Lee told us.

He continued: “A piece of advice Jack gave me when I first heard it I didn’t know what the advice was — He said, ‘Jimmy, you’ve got to be comfortable in your own skin.’ Now when I heard that I’m like ‘Well, yeah, of course you do.’ But I didn’t realise how many different situations you can apply that same piece of advice.”

Lee said that whether you go in for a job interview at a bank or have to present a big M&A deal before a board, you have to be yourself.

“I think there’s a lot to be said for being yourself,” said Lee. “You get up to the plate and you think this guy is going to throw you a fast ball, but he throws you a curve ball. You’ve got to be ready for the curve ball. I think being comfortable in your own skin is an important trait. It relaxes you. It calms you down and gives you the ability to deal with the unexpected.”

** We’ve been asking Wall Street vets about their earliest experiences in finance. If you have a piece of advice you received or a story about a lesson you learned early on in your career, feel free to email [email protected] We can keep you anonymous.