JPMorgan's Investor Day Struck Ominous Note For Hiring

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Thursday was JPMorgan's 2010 Investor Day. Jes Staley crept out of the shadows to make a little presentation about what happens next for the investment bank. What he said was great news for technologists, but rather less good news for anyone hoping for an uptick in hiring - particularly in London or on Wall Street.

Although Staley said nice things about the "war for talent" and the wonders of diversity, the nub of his presentation was that the doubling of income planned at JP Morgan in the nearish future will come from firstly from investing in electronic trading systems, secondly from investing in electronic trading systems in emerging markets, and thirdly from the acquisition of RBS Sempra.

Although JP Morgan plans to invest an additional $200 million in electronic trading over the next two years there was absolutely no mention of a big push on headcount.

Ominously, Staley also said that fixed income margins are down 50 percent, and will stay that way, that JPMorgan has admitted to itself that its 20 percent ROE target is unobtainable (having only achieved 12 percent on average over the past five years) and is therefore now going for 17 percent, and that capital markets activity will probably fall on the back of lower bank fund raisings.

In case any JP Morgan investment bankers found this depressing, or feared being replaced by electronic trading systems, Staley threw in a little pep talk: "The talent resident at JPMorgan is incredible," he gushed. Even better, he said that now that talent's been cut down to the bone, further redundancies are unlikely.

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