The same 2 words keep coming up in Jamie Dimon's annual letter

  • JPMorgan chief Jamie Dimon’s annual letter to shareholders was just published.
  • The 47-page letter covers a lot of ground, ranging from how to tackle bureaucracy in big organisations to trade policy. But the same two words kept popping up: adding bankers.
  • JPMorgan is looking to expand across just about every business.

Jamie Dimon’s annual letter to shareholders was just published, and the same two words pop up repeatedly: adding bankers.

The 47-page letter covers a lot of ground, ranging from how to tackle bureaucracy in big organisations to trade policy. But the note also hints at JPMorgan’s expansive growth plans, setting out areas of growth for just about every business. From the letter (emphasis added):

Consumer & Community Banking

  • “We recently announced that we will start to expand the consumer branch business into cities like Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Over the next five years, we hope to expand to another 15-20 new markets.”
  • JPMorgan has previously said it’s planning to hire 4,000 new employees as part of its bank branch expansion.

Corporate & Investment Banking

  • “We see growth opportunities even in Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities, where we already have the #1 market share at 11.4%.”
  • “This opportunity would be true for Investment Banking, too. Country by country and industry by industry, there are still plenty of opportunities to increase our low market share. For example, we have 10% share in the United States but less than 5% share in Asia.”
  • “In Treasury Services and Custody, where our market shares are 4.7% and 8.0%, respectively, we believe we can grow significantly by adding bankers, building better technology, entering new countries, building better products and continuing to do a great job for clients.”

Commercial Banking

  • “This past year, Commercial Banking has completed its expansion into the top 50 markets in the United States – this will drive growth for decades.”
  • “Commercial Banking has added many specialised industry bankers to better serve those specific segments.”

Asset & Wealth Management

  • “In the United States, our share of the ultra-high-net worth market ($US10 million or greater) is 8%. We believe we have a superior business and that we can grow our share by essentially adding bankers, branches and better products.”
  • “In the high-net worth business ($US3 million to $US10 million) and the Chase affluent business ($US500,000 to $US5 million), our market shares are only 1% and 4%, respectively. We have no doubt that we can grow by adding bankers and locations, particularly because we have some exciting new products coming soon.”

Dimon says letter in the letter that this kind of organic growth is difficult, not least because at times there’s resistance from existing staff. He said (emphasis added):

“Organic growth is all about hiring and training bankers, opening branches, improving or innovating new products and building new technology. It is hard work. In fact, institutionally, there is often a lot of resistance to it. It’s easier not to add expenses, even when they are good for the business. And growing any sales force is usually met by some opposition from – guess who? – the existing sales force. Sometimes people are afraid the change will take away from their compensation pool or their client base. And it’s hard work to properly recruit and train salespeople. Building new products and services is sometimes in conflict with existing products and services. All of these efforts require huge team coordination.”

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