Alumni Newsroom

15 Minutes with JPMorgan Chase’s incoming Chief Administrative Officer

Phil de Josselin’s career has spanned five continents.

Can you share a bit about your career journey at JPMorgan Chase?

I've been with JPMorgan Chase for 20 years, and in that time I'm lucky enough to have worked in seven countries across five continents — in the Corporate & Investment Bank, Asset & Wealth Management, Consumer & Community Banking, and Corporate — from client facing to operational roles. I have held global, regional and country-based jobs. It really brings to life the endless mobility opportunities at JPMorgan Chase. While it was not a course that I plotted out precisely at the start of my career, I was always open to new challenges and found that the more you deliver, the more that opportunities tend to come your way. I am looking forward to transitioning into my new role as CAO for JPMorgan Chase. 

How have all these different markets informed your experience being based in Singapore?

There are dozens of lessons from working in so many different locations over the years. The main thing it teaches you is to never assume you know how a market works. Every market operates differently. However, there are more similarities than differences in banking, so the experience gained in each country helps me recognize patterns that I can apply in my current location and bring global examples and best practices to the table on many topics that might be new to Singapore, but not new to the firm.

What has it meant to be a regional Chief Administrative Officer and what's your typical day like?

No two days are the same. From leading the COVID-19/Return to the Office (RTTO) task force in Asia and tackling all that we are facing on that front, to ensuring our long-term real estate needs in dozens of cities are met. From keeping our people safe in a part of the world that presents constant challenges, to ensuring the firm's supplier, travel and resiliency programs are all being advanced each day. It is easily one of the most varied and interesting roles I have ever had. Plus, we like to remind people that Asia is not a country, so delivering what we do across 17 unique locations and cultures with the teams that drive the region is an added dimension to the role.

What's it like working across so many different businesses and functions?

Simply put, we work for the lines of business. The job of the CAO team is to make sure the businesses have what they need to operate with their clients each day. Our track record is good and the partnership is strong. Constant contact with business leaders at all levels is the key to success, along with the ability to act commercially and execute flawlessly. I am proud to work with some of the best people on the street — true leaders in their field from real estate to security experts — who understand that.

Your region was the first one to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Was it the first region to start the return to the office?

Yes. Asia was first to enter the pandemic, and will possibly be the last to leave it, although it's hard to make predictions on when and how it will truly end. What we know for now is that many parts of Asia are still having a challenging time with COVID-19 and every country has faced a variety of challenges along the way. The resiliency shown by our staff has been nothing short of incredible and the support provided by the myriad of teams managing the crisis has been first-class. Not all decisions had the intended impact. After all, there is no such thing as a perfect crisis. However, we always faced facts, adapted quickly and placed employee health and safety as our top priority at all times.

As a firmwide leader when it comes to employee engagement and the GoGreen teams, what do you expect to see on the horizon regarding sustainability as it relates to employee involvement?

The scientific evidence now supports the conclusion that the climate crisis is a defining topic for humanity's future. So the decision to be involved as a leader, and as a human, was an easy one. The GoGreen teams, established by employees over many years, are doing terrific work and I believe there is an opportunity to increase the visibility, membership and linkages between the teams. That's exactly what we will be doing in 2022 and beyond. The focus is on employee education and direct action on the topic of sustainability, which is not only a good thing to do, it's the right thing to do.

Is there one thing that was a wake-up call for you to be such a champion for sustainability? 

Not one epiphany per se, but the key for me was getting truly educated. After watching a lot of documentaries on the topic, reading many books and listening to climate experts over many years, it became crystal clear that the problem is not really debatable. The controversy generally heats up when talking about solutions and the changes companies, governments and people need to make. It really is true that humans generally don't like change!

How do you live 'green' at home?

It's sometimes hard to see how small individual actions can make a difference to such a large global problem, but I subscribe to the view that everyone can play a role. Driving an electric vehicle, recycling wherever possible, avoiding using plastics, carbon offsets for air travel, and reducing water and electricity consumption are all actions my family has committed to — among many others. 

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