Jennifer Piepszak was named CEO of Chase Cards in February of 2017. Prior to that she was CEO of Chase Business Banking. Piepszak started at JPMorgan in 1994 in the investment bank and has held many different positions at the firm over the past quarter-century.
In a discussion with Business Insider’s Sara Silverstein, Piepszak reveals what led to her success within JPMorgan. She also talks about lessons she has learned from CEO Jamie Dimon and the type of leader he is. Following is a transcript of the video.
Silverstein: You’ve been at JPMorgan Chase in one form or another for 20 years.
Piepszak:Close to 25, yeah.
Silverstein: Oh wow!
Silverstein:For 25 years, how did you get into the position that you’re in and did you ever envision being in this spot 25 years ago, on day one?
Piepszak:Yeah, I certainly didn’t envision being in this spot25 years ago.I was in the finance area, actually within the investment bank, for a very long time, about 17 years. And then I moved over to what was then retail financial services, as the controller, and then ultimately, became the CFO for the mortgage business and then was asked if I was interested in doing something completely different, which is a testament to our company and the risk we’re willing to take with talent. And so, I was asked to do something completely different and ran business banking for a few years. And then, about a year and a half ago, moved into cards. So definitely, never saw it coming. But it’s been a fantastic journey, and I’ve never been happier, truly.
Silverstein:So what advice do you have for someone who’s starting out in a job, who wants to be able to envision themselves in a role like this?
Piepszak:Yeah, well, I think it’s really important, just work hard. That’s a big key to success. Intellectual curiosity, I think that’s really, really important for people to always be learning, always anticipating the next question. And then I think being a great partner, being someone that’s a great problem solver, that people want in the room when they’re working on a project, or working to solve a problem. And that means not only having that intellectual curiosity, and being willing to work hard, but it means having heart, and humanity, and being your authentic self. So, I think all of that is really important for success.
Silverstein:And any big lessons, like biggest mistakes that you’ve made in your career? Or biggest successes?
Piepszak:Well, I would say, certainly if I could speak to my younger self, I would say, first of all, Thomas Jefferson said it, and he said it best, which is, “Believeyou can and you’re halfway there.”And so, particularly for women, I think it’s so important that we remain super confident in what we’re doing and know that like, we were made for this and we got this. And then still to have the humility to know that we can ask for help, and should ask for help. I ask for help more now than I ever have before. And then, to know, to have the humility to know it’s okay to have a bad day. Andwe’ve got tokeep moving on from that. Surrounding yourself with great people, both personally and professionally. I’m a mom of three boys, and so if I didn’t have the amazing husband I have, I could never do what I do at work. And so that’s, you know, critically important. And then life begins at the edge of your comfort zone. I mean, I think for years in the beginning of my career, I avoided being uncomfortable and then when you realize, you allow yourself to be uncomfortable, you grow through those experiences. And it’s incredibly rewarding.
Silverstein:And you’ve been at JPMorgan for all of Jamie Dimon’s tenure as CEO. Any lessons that you’ve learned from him, and what kind of boss is he?
Piepszak:Well, he makes us all better. So he is just a tremendous leader. I think he shows us how to analyze things more deeply, to know your numbers, to understand your business cases, to make sure that you’re creating the time to be able to always be learning. And not just about our own industry, but about other industries that may be relevant. To always be focused on investing, and then culture, and how much culture matters. I would say we have a really smart, execution-oriented culture, but as Jamie says,”Sometimes it’s a lot more about heart than it is mind.”And so we have a smart, execution-oriented culture that has a lot of heartand a lot of humanity. And it’s not even just about Jamie. He has surrounded himself with the most talented operating committee, I think, on the planet. And each one of them is world class and so, it’s really about the entire leadership team that he’s created that makes us have such a strong culture.
WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE: Chase Cards CEO on the coveted Sapphire Reserve card and working with Jamie Dimon