J.P. Morgan Chase & Co, also known as JPMorgan, has a rich history spanning over two centuries. The megabank’s mission statement describes how it is to become the “best financial services company in the world,” but other sources also quote them to say, “the most respected bank in the world.”
- Table of Contents
- Core Values
- Looking for More Great Banking Career Opportunities?
- Final Thoughts
Table of Contents
3 Core Values
- Exceptional Client Service
- Operational Excellence
- A Commitment to Integrity, Fairness, and Responsibility
- A Great Team and Winning Culture
Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr founded what is known as the earliest predecessor of JPMorgan in 1799. It was named The Manhattan Company and aimed to provide clean drinking water to citizens of the area. Chartered by the New York State for this service, they made use of a provision to allow them to use surplus capital for banking projects.
However, Hamilton soon severed his ties to the company, as they were in direct competition to his own banking business.
The scandal of the two founding partners’ public “break up” did not end there, as they became personal and political rivals. There was only one way to end the feud; the two agreed to a duel and met on July 11, 1804, near the Hudson River. Hamilton subsequently lost the duel, as he died the next day after being wounded. To add insult to mortal injury, the Manhattan company would go on to purchase the pistols Hamilton used from his descendants more than 100 years later.
Over the next few years, more companies followed suit, starting up with one service and then later establishing their own banks.
Where the family tree started
Across the pond, Junius S Morgan joined a private banking firm after moving to London in 1854. The company, George Peabody & Co, would go on to finance the first transatlantic telegraph cable in 1858. George Peabody & Co was renamed J.S. Morgan & Co in 1864.
The Civil War in the United States prompted a uniform national currency and a regulatory framework by a series of acts passed from 1862-1864.
The 8th nationally chartered bank, First National Bank of Chicago, opened in 1863. It would later form part of the JPMorgan acquired banks and still operates under charter number 8 today.
J.P. Morgan, son of J.S Morgan, partnered with a French company to open Drexel, Morgan & Co in New York in 1871. Upon J.S. Morgan’s death in 1890, his son inherited J.S. Morgan & Co, and a merger was in order. By 1895, the combined company was renamed J.P. Morgan & Co and had a foothold in New York, Philadelphia, London, and Paris.
J.P. Morgan financed railroads and went down in history for “the largest transaction in railroad bonds ever made in the United States.” As the leading giant in the industry, his quick reformation and mergers to cut competition caused the press to dub his practices “Morganization.”
He bought out and combined around 15 companies in 1901 to start the world’s first billion-dollar corporation, United States Steel.
In 1907, he saved the City of New York from defaulting by buying $30 million in bonds during a stock market crash that held everything together until it stabilized.
The lineage continues
J.P. Morgan passed on in March of 1913, and his son, J.P. (Jack) Morgan Jr, became a senior partner in J.P. Morgan & Co. Not forgetting what J.P. had done for the country and for New York, the NYSE honored him as they would a head of state by closing until noon for the day of his funeral.
J.P. Morgan & Co Headquarters moved to the historic site known as 23 Wall Street in 1914. The company’s discreet business style is commemorated as the Morgan name is not included, and the entrance doors simply state “23”.
The company supported the war efforts with a $500 million bond issue to England and France, and facilitated the purchase of war materials and goods worth over $3 billion to be used by the Allies.
In 1923, the company loaned $150 million to Japan after an earthquake ravished the city of Yokohama. Jack Morgan was honored with a medal by the emperor of Japan for helping the country to rebuild.
J.P. Morgan had always been a private partnership. Jack decided to make shares available to the public and became the first chairman of J.P. Morgan & Co Incorporated in 1940.
Where A meets B, C, and D?
Banking in the post-war era was met with great challenges. Banks merged and amalgamated left and right to keep up. It was evident that larger banks that offered local banking and additional services prevailed. It was during this time that the four heritage firms and cornerstones of JPMorgan Chase New York were formed.
One of the banks to merge into the heritage firms was none other than The Manhattan Company, the oldest in the group. In 1958, Chase Manhattan bank launched the first credit card, a precursor to the modern-day Visa card.
In 1959, Morgan Guaranty Trust Company of New York was born after a merger, becoming one of the world’s largest trust companies.
After the introduction of ATMs a decade later, Morgan Guaranty, Chase Manhattan, Manufacturers Hanover, Chemical, and First National Bank of Chicago reformed to start holding companies.
In 2000, Morgan Guaranty and Chase Manhattan finally formed J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. It took over two centuries and many, many mergers, but the JPMorgan Chase Historical Collection documents the history of the firm’s over 1200 predecessor institutions.
|J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. / JPMorgan
|Geographic areas served
|New York City
|Current CEO (2023)
|$ 127 Billion (Fortune 500)
|$ 48 Billion (Fortune 500)
The company’s vision is underlined by its core values, as it aims to venture on for another 200 years.
James Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co., said it best: “The strength of our company has allowed us to always be there for our clients and communities – in good times and in bad times – and this strength enables us to continually invest in building our businesses for the future.”
Exceptional Client Service
They promise to treat customers as they would want to be treated, advocate for them, anticipate needs, and earn trust. The company will offer high-quality products and services at a fair and competitive price, and always do what is right, not what is easy.
Performance is constantly monitored, and mediocrity is not accepted. Within every team, a maximum individual effort is expected. The company continuously measures up with competitors and ensures that they stay on top.
Read more: Can A Felon Travel to London?
Commitment to Integrity, Fairness, and Responsibility
The company has a zero-tolerance for unethical behavior and strictly adheres to laws and policies. They only keep “one set of books,” which promotes a transparent, universal truth. Every mistake is regarded as an opportunity to grow, not a reason to quit.
CEOs and clerks all enjoy the same level of respect in the workplace, while those who came before are honored and revered. Although the company does not boast this number freely, Fortune 500 listed 49% of their employees to be of minority groups.
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The company has had 200 years to build onto this but is open about the “winning culture” they foster. They aim to hire passionate employees, train them and inspire them. Loyalty and morale are an integral part of this winning culture and are nurtured by remaining open to new ideas and providing the support needed to execute them.
Their most famous tagline was used in 2012, known as “The Right Relationship is Everything”; however, the slogan “So you can” has been in use since 2013. As the company operates in 60 countries, taglines are often swopped out with campaigns to suit the values of the countries they are launched in.