Trailblazers at JPMorgan Chase

Genevieve Ong

Genevieve Ong joined Guarantee Savings Bank as a part time teller in 1967 and was promoted to chief teller just one year later. Following Guarantee’s merger with Home Savings of America, Ong was appointed branch manager and assistant vice president of Home Savings’ Oakland, California office in 1972. She became vice president in 1980, one of the first Asian American women in the firm’s history to reach that position. Ong was also active in the local community and was appointed vice chairman of the Asian Business League of San Francisco in 1996. During Ong’s thirty year career at Home Savings, she managed at least eight branches in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her father, Yok C. Young, also worked for Home Savings and joined the bank at the age of 78 as a part time customer service representative at the Oakland branch.

Arjun K. Mathrani

In 1969, Chase Manhattan Bank hired Arjun K. Mathrani as a credit trainee in London where he ultimately served as a corporate account officer. In 1973, he was promoted to second vice president and moved to New York City a year later. In 1976, Mathrani was appointed vice president and helped found Chase’s Country Risk Management program. By the late 1970s, he served as a credit officer for Brazil, where he learned how to speak and write Portuguese in just three months. In 1984, Mathrani was appointed manager of Chase’s business in Korea and after one year under his management, Chase Korea’s earnings rose 25%. By the early 1990s, Mathrani had been promoted to executive positions in Latin America Corporate Finance and Corporate Treasury. In 1994, Mathrani was named Chief Financial Officer of Chase Manhattan Bank and ultimately became the head of Global Asset Management and Private Banking before leaving Chase in 1997.  

Ben Chong Poon Louie

Originally from Hong Kong, Ben Chong Poon Louie joined Chemical Bank in 1960 as a teller trainee. In 1962, he earned his MBA from New York University and a year later was promoted to chief clerk. By 1972 he was assistant secretary and branch manager of Office 44 in New York City’s Chinatown. Under his management, the Chinatown branch became one of the top ten most profitable Chemical offices and Louie was appointed vice president in 1980. Referred to as the “Mayor of Chinatown,” Louie continued to manage the Chinatown branch until his retirement in 1987. In 1998, Chase Manhattan Bank CEO and Chairman Walter Shipley dedicated a memorial plaque to Louie at Chase’s Chinatown office. All three of his children followed in their father’s footsteps and worked for Chase at one point in their careers.

My Nga Tran (née Nguyen)

My Nga Tran was the assistant manager of operations at the Chase Manhattan Saigon branch when the office was forced to shut down due to the Vietnam War. On April 25, 1975 five days before the fall of Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), Tran and sixty-one other Vietnamese Chase staff and their families were evacuated on a military flight to Guam. Before boarding the plane, Tran was appointed the officer in charge of the Chase group and she helped translate evacuation instructions and announcements. Tran’s group was later reunited in California with more Saigon staff and on May 6th, 112 Vietnamese employees and their families finally arrived in New York City. Tran continued to act as a liaison between Chase and the Vietnamese staff as they settled into their new lives in the United States. A year later in 1976, Tran was promoted to assistant treasurer.  

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