Irene Tse works 80-hour weeks, wakes up in the middle of the night to check bond prices, and she’s a concert pianist.Tse is also JPMorgan’s new Chief Investment Officer for the North American region, a huge role.
And Tse is an animal — it’s obvious she’s one of the top women on Wall Street right now.
She started as a trader on the government bond trading desk at Goldman Sachs in 1994, where she worked for 14 years.
In 2005, when she was 34, Tse said she that at Goldman, she had worked 80-hour weeks for the past 10 years. And she typically got out of bed two or three times every night just to check bond prices in markets around the world. She told Fast Company:
“I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of days in my career when I didn’t want to come to work.”
“Every day I wake up, and I can’t wait to get here.”
At the time, she was in London, where she had moved to take over as head of European government bond trading in 2001, but she soon returned to New York to take on the role of head of government bond trading in 2003. She was named managing director in 2002 and partner in 2004, according to 100 Women in Hedge Funds.
40-year old Tse, a former Goldman partner, left her role as co-head of U.S. rates at Goldman three years ago to join Stanley Druckenmiller’s Duquesne Capital, where she was a portfolio manager.
She apparently worked closely with Druckenmiller focusing on various rates, mortgage, credit, foreign exchange, equity, commodity and structured product offerings.
How’d she get the new job at JPMorgan?
Here’s an idea.
She’s a member of the TBAC, which is, according to Bloomberg, a group that provides quarterly recommendations to the Treasury on managing the government’s debt. It was formed after World War II, made official through a 1972 act of Congress, and now it has many high profile members, who are appointed by the Treasury and the group’s chairman.
The group’s chairman is Matthew Zames, the co-head of fixed income at New York-based JPMorgan.
Here’s her career advice. She said having diverse interests is important in a 2007 interview with the Financial Times:
“There is no one set of skills that makes a good trader – some of the best are literature majors, while others are mathematics geniuses.”
Tse said this about the new job:
“I chose J.P. Morgan Chase because it is truly a leader in finance and because it offers an extraordinary platform for me and the entire CIO group to invest and manage risk. I’m also grateful to Althea Duersten, who played a critical role in building this outstanding team, and who has been very generous and supportive in bringing me to J.P. Morgan.”