It's always nice when the lamestream media comes around to our nuanced and researched point-of-view. So congrats to the WSJ on finally seeing the light on Marianne Lake as the true future queen of JPMorgan Chase.
JPMorgan’s 48-year-old chief financial officer, Ms. Lake is one of the most senior women on Wall Street and has been on the bank’s short list of possible successors for years, people familiar with its board say. January’s announcement by the bank of executive moves makes her an even more likely contender.
In one respect, Ms. Lake would be a historic choice, the first female chief executive of one of the largest U.S. banks. A single mother of three young children, Ms. Lake has already become a role model for women in finance, juggling a high-profile job and family demands.
Yeah, no doi. Of course Marianne Lake is the next CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. We've been saying this for years. Promoting Marianne over Dan Pinto and Gordon Smith has always been the plan. Those guys are old dudes and Marianne is a younger lady. She's not silo'ed in her understanding of the massive corporation that she'd be tasked with running (unlike her colleague Mary Callahan Erdoes whose current gig pays her way more than Lake's, and for way less hassle thatn the CEO job has to offer). Lake's ascension to the throne would be a major cultural moment in American history and provide JPM with a short golden halo period; begrudgingly beloved by its detractors for elevating a woman to immense power in an industry defined by men (for context see: Mayer, Marissa)
And she's a good fit in many other ways. We've called her a female Jamie Dimon in terms of her confidence and chutzpah, but she's also lauded by The Street for being a more temperate version of her boss. With rounder edges and a more contemplative mien, Lake is well-liked on earnings calls and consistently evinces a strong grasp of what JPM is up to. The knocks on Lake are that she's never run her own business (which, meh) and that she isn't nearly as qualified as Pinto or even Smith (again, meh).
But perhaps most importantly not one criticism of Lake can outshine the reality that she is a capable, attractive, female candidate to run a major financial institution in a cultural moment that seems to be almost demanding such a person get such a job. And that synergy will be most useful to a bank that is riding high and a current CEO who is totally "not" running for president in 2020.