Jamie Dimon says he’s out to win the AI arms race. See who he’s put in charge of this critical mission.

  • In an earning call, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said banks can win the AI battle against fintech.
  • Dimon also laid out his vision for how America’s largest bank will win this race through data.
  • Meet the leaders of that mission, including the unnamed exec he referenced in the call on Friday.

(Editor’s note: When Teresa Heitsenrether was named head of JPMorgan’s Data & Analytics team in June, this story was originally published. It was updated in October to reflect CEO Jamie Dimon’s comments about the team and its AI work.)

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon stated on Friday that he does not intend to lose the artificial intelligence technology race to a slew of disruptors.

During a conference call to discuss third-quarter earnings, the 67-year-old CEO disagreed with a Wall Street analyst who questioned whether the bank’s AI spending was merely a “moonshot.”

“The consensus among people outside the banking industry is that banks will not win that battle, including JPMorgan,” the economist said. “You won’t control the front end,” the analyst said before questioning whether the bank’s AI efforts should be dismissed as a “moonshot.”

Dimon disagreed and then laid out his vision for how JPMorgan will win in AI, including a shoutout to an executive in charge of a newly formed team he believes will help the bank win this race.

“Oh, I don’t agree with that statement,” Dimon said, according to an AlphaSense transcript. “Banks have an extraordinary amount of proprietary data,” he said, implying that JPMorgan’s strategy includes using its data inputs to win.

“We just put a woman who’s running it at our table,” he said on the phone. “So it’s data analytics, AI, etc,” he explained before going on to explain some of JPMorgan’s AI use cases.

“As a result, we use AI for risk, fraud, marketing, and prospecting.” And the management team is getting better at saying, ‘How can we use the data to do a better job, reduce errors, and serve clients better?'”

“Does it open the door for disruptors to enter?” Sure, of course. This has always been true of technology. And you can bet we’ll be very good at it.”

JPMorgan spokespeople confirmed that the executive Dimon was referring to is Teresa Heitsenrether, who was appointed in June to oversee the firm’s AI, data, and analytics. Heitsenrether leads the newly formed Data & Analytics (D&A) organization as JPMorgan’s firmwide chief data and analytics officer.

Because the models and tools require massive amounts of data, Heitsenrether and her team are critical to JPMorgan’s AI strategy. Dimon and President Daniel Pinto said in a June memo announcing Heitsenrether’s new role that D&A will “set JPMorgan up for success by determining how and where the bank uses AI, as well as the guardrails to do it securely and responsibly.”

Heitsenrether spent 20 years at JPMorgan, where he led the prime brokerage and securities services businesses. And her team includes some of the bank’s most senior technologists, including the head of AI research and the head of AI and machine learning transformation and engagement.

Heitsenrether, a member of the bank’s operating committee for many years, collaborates closely with Lori Beer, JPMorgan’s global chief information officer, who leads a team of top tech executives, 57,000 technologists, and a $15 billion-plus tech budget.

“Artificial intelligence (AI) is an extraordinary technology that, when combined with data — the raw material that fuels it — will be critical to our company’s future success,” Dimon and Pinto wrote in a memo announcing Heitsenrether’s new position in June.

Inside JPMorgan’s AI race

Since the splashy debut of ChatGPT in November 2022, AI has been a hot commodity everywhere, including Wall Street. AI isn’t new in finance, but the industry’s tech race has picked up steam, with finance firms of all sizes, from Goldman Sachs to Chime, developing new technologies and tools.

Heitsenrether was previously JPMorgan’s global head of Securities Services, where she provided custody, fund administration, and accounting services to the bank’s largest institutional clients.

The business leader was chosen by Dimon and Pinto for her track record of “transforming some of our most successful businesses in the corporate and investment bank,” according to the memo.

Since taking over as global head of Securities Services in 2015, Heitsenrether has increased revenue by more than 22% and more than doubled assets under administration.

As part of the newly formed D&A unit, the following leaders are supporting Heitsenrether:

  • JPMorgan’s head of AI research, Manuela Veloso, and her team of academic whizzes will join the D&A unit. Veloso, who was previously the head of Carnegie Mellon’s machine-learning department, is in charge of investigating the bank’s AI potential.
  • Drew Cukor is the head of AI/ML transformation and engagement at JPMorgan. Cukor’s team is in charge of developing business models and solutions using the bank’s AI tools. Cukor’s team collaborates closely with David Castillo, the firmwide head of AI/ML technology, who creates the AI infrastructure needed to develop new AI use cases, from processes to controls.
  • Gerard Francis is the head of Fusion, Securities Services’ data service that allows buy-side clients to leverage data to generate investment and operational alpha.
  • JPMorgan’s divisional chief data and analytics officers will report to their respective business leaders as well as Heitsenrether.
  • Andrew Lang, the bank’s global CTO, will become the D&A unit’s chief information officer. He will continue to report to Beer while reporting to Heitsenrether. Lang, as global CTO, determines new and emerging technologies for the bank and leads strategy in enterprise architecture, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and other areas.
  • JPMorgan stated in the memo that it would be looking to fill at least one leadership position within D&A. It hired David Robinson of JPMorgan’s Data Assurance and Controls team as an interim leader while the bank searches for a permanent replacement. According to the memo, Robinson, who has more than 25 years of cyber experience in the financial industry and the Department of Defense, will eventually be focused solely on cybersecurity responsibilities.

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