JP Morgan's Top Dealmaker Has 5 Keys To Success
JPMorgan Vice Chairman Jimmy Lee is a legendary dealmaker on Wall Street.
We caught up with Lee on the phone this week before Bloomberg’s “The Year Ahead” summit and he shared his keys to success.
“I think it’s just a few things that you have to do every day,” Lee told us.
Here they are:
1. Work hard.
“You have to work really hard. There’s just no getting around that.”
2. Become an expert.
“You have to know each of the major products exceptionally well. You’ve got to know high-yield debt. You’ve got to know investment grade debt. You’ve got to know loan syndication. You’ve got to know M&A. You’ve got to know IPOs and follow-ons, i.e. the equity business. You have to have a deep vertical experience and expertise.”
3. Don’t be afraid to give honest, objective advice.
“You have to be unafraid of just telling the truth, especially with respect to CEOs. A lot of bankers are always looking to please the CEO, and in doing so they please them, but they may not give them, you know, objective advice. So I think it’s being honest, open and giving your best objective advice, and being unafraid as to what can happen from that so long as you’ve thought it through.”
4. Don’t underestimate the importance of working well with people.
“The most successful people tend to have relatively high IQs and relatively high EQs [the emotional quotient]. So having strong EQ and just fundamental working well with people I think is very, very important. Because investment banking at the end of the day—it’s very technical, it’s very complicated, but once you’ve learned all those skills it’s really just about people.”
5. Learn from mistakes.
“In a long career, a gazillion mistakes get made. And I’ve made my share of mistakes… When you make a mistake you A.) You have to acknowledge it and be fully accountable and then B.) You have to figure out what made you make the mistake and figure out how to not make the same mistake again.”
On November 13-14, Lee will be speaking at Bloomberg’s “The Year Ahead” summit where he’ll talk about industry and economic issues going into 2015 along with other top executives.
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