JPMorgan's British commodities chief notches up $2.8bn
Jim Armitage is the City editor of The Independent and London Evening Standard group of newspapers. He has been a reporter and editor for more than 20 years and was recently shortlisted for the Press Gazette financial journalist of the year and The Society of Editors financial journalist of the year awards. He contributes news, investigative reports and comment to the Independent titles plus a daily column in the Evening Standard.
Saturday 03 March 2012
Blythe Masters, the British woman who runs JPMorgan's commodities division, has steered the department to record turnover exceeding $2.8bn (£1.8bn) in 2011, more than long-time industry leaders Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
Reuters research shows that Cambridge-educated Ms Masters beat her arch-rival, Isabelle Ealet at Goldman Sachs in London, whose commodities division's revenues stagnated at $1.6bn. JPMorgan's performance, a threefold leap in revenues, is a huge bounceback for one of the most powerful women on Wall Street.
In 2010 there had been serious concerns about staff defections and sluggish growth, but Ms Masters, who started at the bank aged 18 as an intern in London, had the firm backing of the chief executive, Jamie Dimon, and investment banking head, Jes Staley. He praised her for being "one tough kid" and stuck with her.
Ms Masters gained notoriety for pioneering credit default swaps, blamed by many for the financial crisis. She acknowledged in a 2008 speech that she had been branded "the woman who created weapons of mass destruction", although she defends the products, saying the people using them were at fault.
Ms Masters built the bank's commodities business through acquisitions including the takeover in 2010 of Royal Bank of Scotland's Sempra Commodities, a large trader of natural gas.
By contrast, rivals have stumbled lately, with Morgan Stanley's revenues shrinking for a third consecutive year, the worst streak since at least 1995, and Goldman Sachs' commodity unit nursing a large drop in revenues since raking in more than $4.5bn in 2009.
The blunt-speaking Ms Masters told staff in 2010 rivals were "scared shitless of us", adding: "They'd better be. This is a platform that's going to win."
Ms Ealet was promoted out of Goldman's commodities unit in January.
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 3 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Yazidi sex slaves undergoing surgery to 'restore virginity' after being raped by Isis militants
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...
£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Application Support Analyst / 1st L...
£45K - £55K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a full stack .NET D...