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Morning Coffee: J.P. Morgan keeps tabs on employees 24/7. Hedge fund tries too hard to be cool

Hm, I'd say "needs improvement."

J.P. Morgan is following Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs by shaking up its annual review process away from purely ranking people every year and more towards keeping a constant check on their employees.

The bank has introduced 'Insight360 software', a mobile tool that lets workers across the bank’s many divisions send and receive instant critiques of and from their colleagues. Clearly, this is a huge change in the way that it evaluates employees.

John Donnelly, head of human resources, said the idea is to foster professional development of the bank’s 243k staff. Many workers, especially younger ones, appreciate constant feedback and prefer that to a traditional once-a-year performance review.

“By listening to you, we learned that our employees want to know where they stand at all times,” Donnelly said. The web-based application will allow employees “to request and receive feedback from anyone, anytime.”

A J.P. Morgan manager can use the new technology to ping meeting participants for reactions on how a specific employee performed right after a project is completed. Workers can also request written critiques or give unsolicited reviews about their colleagues – the person who initiates the query determines who else gets to see the feedback, according to Bloomberg.

Previously J.P. Morgan employees participated in yearly reviews and got a rating ranging from “needs improvement” to “exceeds expectations.” Now annual evaluations will be broken into four categories to measure business results, client focus, teamwork and risk controls.

Separately, hedge funds are organising hackathons and shelling out big pay packets to lure PhDs, data scientists and quants across from other industries, but some are trying a little too hard to appeal to the 'nerds'. Two Sigma provides potential hires with a graphic novel explaining the virtues of working for the firm including the 'Monte Carlo Hill Climbing Lunch', according to the FT, where an algorithm selects four employees a week to invite out to lunch. "As if there were a better way to pick people to eat with,” the graphic novel says.


Blockchain will eliminate the need for a lot of finance jobs (HBR)

Man Group tapped Michelle McCloskey to be the Americas president of its fund of hedge funds business. (Financial News)

This chart counts the ways that hedge funds have been failing. (Business Insider)

BlackRock hired Tim O'Hara, the former head of global markets at Credit Suisse, to lead credit trading push (WSJ)

Goldman Sachs dealmaker Xiaoyin Zhang, who helped bring China’s three largest Internet companies to market during 15 years at the bank, is leaving. (Bloomberg)

Goldman and J.P. Morgan have opened up their goldmines of the risk technology used by their traders and risk managers and plan to monetize it by making it available to clients. (

Here’s what RBC Capital Markets looks for in new hires. (Business Insider)

The UK forecast an additional £1.9bn ($2.3bn) of tax on bank profits over the next five years, even as some global lenders prepare to relocate operations following Brexit. (Bloomberg)

Brexit puts 1.4 million UK jobs and $593 billion of investment at risk. (Business Insider)

Old Mutual has cut headcount in London by 50% as it splits itself into four separate businesses. (WSJ)

The median job in healthcare and technology pays more than financial services. (Bloomberg)

State Street has installed a bronze statue of a defiant girl to remind Wall Street firms of the lack of senior women in the industry (New York Times)

Retired hedge-fund manager Bruce Kovner is putting his Caribbean estate “Girasol” on the market for $67m. (WSJ)

Fashion brands have given the banker bag a makeover. (WSJ)

AUTHORDan Butcher US Editor

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