Mary Callahan Erdoes, chief executive officer of J.P. Morgan's Asset Management division with more than $2.3 trillion in client assets, sat down with UCLA Anderson Dean Judy Olian for a Dean’s Distinguished Speaker Series talk this morning. Forbes and Fortune consistently rank Erdoes as one of the “World’s Most Powerful Women,” and Bloomberg Markets named her 2013’s “World’s Most Influential Money Manager.”
Olian and Erdoes had a lively conversation, ranging from Erdoes’ early days working in a financial services company’s computer room to the realities of the Fed’s quantitative easing program.
Erdoes described her term as co-CEO of J.P. Morgan’s Private Bank as one of the most formative experiences in her leadership path. Assigned to work with a person she described as “the most opposite” possible, Erdoes resisted making a connection. When the head of HR came to her and said, “You’re missing the plot here,” Erdoes knew she had to make a change. “Ten years later, he's the one who transformed my career the most,” Erdoes said. “There's a great thing about diversity. Diversity makes you make better decisions.”
Olian and Erdoes discussed the differences between leadership and management, with Erdoes stating there’s an important distinction. “Leadership is about walking the halls. It's all about what can be termed ‘the soft stuff,’” she said. “Jamie Dimon walks into my office every day, and it has nothing to do with business. He’s gauging how I’m doing.”
Olian also quizzed Erdoes on some of the tenets of UCLA Anderson’s Think in the Next credo. “There’s nothing you can do in the world that you can do by yourself. If someone won't share success, you don't want to work with them,” Erdoes said. She also said that thinking fearlessly is an integral part of every day. And, finally, she said driving change is the engine of her workday. “Every single morning, you wake up and you have to think about how you can change the world and make it a better place.”
Head to the DDSS homepage for more on Erdoes and other past speakers.