JPMorgan has inserted executive directors between its vice presidents and managing directors. Is it good news or bad news for people who work there?
It's good news according to a spokesman for the bank, who says the use of the executive director title, which was announced in November and came into effect February 1, will allow the bank to recognize vice presidents who have managing director potential.
What about those who were hoping to move from a vice president's office to a managing director's - and now have another step to climb? The new title won't make any difference, says the spokesman, since all those up for MD selection this year will still be considered, regardless of whether they've just become executive directors.
Some aren't convinced the change will be a positive one, however. Some have heard rumors that in some areas, the new title's introduction coincided with lower-than-expected bonuses. "There's clearly a need to keep people motivated and a new title is a cheaper way of doing that than a large bonus," notes Jean Facon, an ex-JPMorgan MD who is now a consultant at headhunter Christopher Beale Associates in London.
JPMorgan's move to standardize its titles with those of most other investment banks make life easier for recruiters, who have to juggle different titles at different firms. For example, UBS ranks its staff as non-officers, associate directors, directors, executive directors and managing directors. Most banks use the titles of analyst, associate, vice president, executive director and managing director.
"It can be complicated," admits the head of HR at one bank. "We usually count the number of years of experience and use that to decide which title someone joining us should have."
Best to go straight from VP to MD, or would you rather have a staging post? Add your comment below to let us know what you think.