September 18, 2020

southmarstonplan

Business is the best

How MBAs Can Excel on Wall Street

Matthew C. Meade

Matthew Meade has his fingers on everything at JP Morgan Chase. As a vice president, Meade leads a seven-member team that covers 99 trading desks and 15 lines of business across the globe. In a nutshell, his job is to make work easier for everyone else. He examines every possible metric across the firm, assessing their value and limits, he says. From there, Meade moves this data onto digital platforms so anyone can drag, drop, and trend it.” data-reactid=”29″>Matthew Meade has his fingers on everything at JP Morgan Chase. As a vice president, Meade leads a seven-member team that covers 99 trading desks and 15 lines of business across the globe. In a nutshell, his job is to make work easier for everyone else. He examines every possible metric across the firm, assessing their value and limits, he says. From there, Meade moves this data onto digital platforms so anyone can drag, drop, and trend it.

An unsung hero? More like the consummate team player. After all, Meade was once tapped to build a tech operation from scratch at JP Morgan Chase. He automated it so well that he wasn’t needed to run it. Don’t worry, Meade found plenty of internal suitors after he’d finished. To borrow one of his favorite phrases: “Good word comes from good work.”

Wisdom on the Way to Wall Street: 22 Steps to Navigating Your Road to Success. For Meade, the book is a look back over a 15 year Wall Street finance career as much as a roadmap forward. Forget tutorials on reinvestment risk and swap spreads. Meade focuses on the lessons that Wall Street honchos often take for granted: relentless learning, quiet reflection, and authentic interaction.” data-reactid=”36″>Now, Meade is spreading the word in a different way. This month, he published his first book, Wisdom on the Way to Wall Street: 22 Steps to Navigating Your Road to Success. For Meade, the book is a look back over a 15 year Wall Street finance career as much as a roadmap forward. Forget tutorials on reinvestment risk and swap spreads. Meade focuses on the lessons that Wall Street honchos often take for granted: relentless learning, quiet reflection, and authentic interaction.

“If you aren’t comfortable being uncomfortable, you’re going to miss opportunities. If you get too comfortable doing the same things you’ve been doing for a long time, you’re not going to learn as much as you absolutely could.”

New York University’s Stern School of Business, where is slated to graduate in 2021. He grew up in South Orange, New Jersey, in a family of six boys and two girls. His mother was a stockbroker, whose love of numbers carried over to her son. Eventually, he earned a scholarship to the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce. While he flourished in economics, stats, and finance – anything involving numbers – Meade also loved meeting people and learning about their experiences. It was a trait that led him onto the sell side after working as an analyst. Still, it is the ever-changing opportunities – as much as the people and numbers – that has anchored him to finance.” data-reactid=”41″>Meade himself is an MBA student at New York University’s Stern School of Business, where is slated to graduate in 2021. He grew up in South Orange, New Jersey, in a family of six boys and two girls. His mother was a stockbroker, whose love of numbers carried over to her son. Eventually, he earned a scholarship to the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce. While he flourished in economics, stats, and finance – anything involving numbers – Meade also loved meeting people and learning about their experiences. It was a trait that led him onto the sell side after working as an analyst. Still, it is the ever-changing opportunities – as much as the people and numbers – that has anchored him to finance.

“From my perspective, within finance, there are so many different aspects to it,” he explains. “You don’t have to just do banking. You can do wealth management or risk management. You can do tech within finance as well; my team has done several tech projects. We have a strategy group within the firm that pretty much acts as a consulting team. These career paths within finance organizations are infinite. You’re just in it in a different way.”

What are some of the critical steps to thriving on Wall Street? Are 70-80 workweeks still relevant in finance? What have been some of Meade’s biggest lessons as an MBA? Check out our Q&A with Meade along with selected chapter summaries from his book.

There have been opportunities that I, personally, passed up in my career because I was working on a single team. I knew the team and culture very well. I know the project I would be working on. At times, when I dared to take risks and jump out, those were the biggest growth opportunities. There were times within my career when I was very comfortable in different positions. The reason this principle made the book is because every time I was in that state – and then I left that state – they became the biggest learning opportunities that I’ve had.

For example, within the risk innovation space, I ended up taking the opportunity a few years ago. In that space, we are looking to digitally transform the way viewers look at metrics across our organization. My team covers 99 trading desks and 15 lines of business throughout the firm (Global Credit Trading, Global Rates, Global Management, etc.). We are trying to get rid of user tools, reduce operational risk, and increase efficiencies across the organization. In other words, give innovative ways for market risk to actually look at metrics. I was a different role prior to this for a few years, but I’m really glad I took on this role.

It was a new role. I hand-picked everyone on the team. We built the business from the ground up. The role was very entrepreneurial. I was learning about the technology within the firm and what it takes to transform a business from spreadsheets and Access to Tableau, digital dashboards, and trending data. It was a really good step for me. I got to build a team and transform a business until it got too digital and automated for me to even stay there. I saw the business from start to finish – and I sort of built myself out of a role. It’s a good feeling. You’re adding value to the firm. You’re getting rid of all that time that people were taking using Excel spreadsheets and Macros. Now, people are using their time to actually review the metrics or trend the metrics to see data trends – what’s going up, what’s going down, and why is it actually happening like this. There is a huge gain that comes from automation and innovation.

About my why, I go back to impact. Impacting and inspiring others is my why. When I first got on to Wall Street, I was in a program called Sponsors for Educational Opportunity. They really looked to give people an opportunity to look back and be an inspiration. Impact is the one thing I really want to leave for the next generation. Remembering my why is the humble beginnings. I grew up in a family with five brothers and two sisters with my mom in New Jersey. My mom always told us to make sure we give back, be the best versions of ourselves, be respectful to people, and put 100% in all that you do. All that pushes impact as well.

Creating that impact and remembering my why is really about that next generation. I have my family now, but I’m also looking out for the next generation in finance. I want to create greater leadership opportunities for diverse individuals. You have to push the envelope, having those challenging conversations to make sure people feel included. My why also extends outside my job. That’s why I am meeting with kids in the community and talking to the schools.

It was challenging – but a good thing – to make sure each of the principles were stand-alone principles and life-impactful for me. It was a fun process, but you had to make sure that I was making sure I had the best principles that I had crossed in my career in this book.

Some of the things that I’ve seen that haven’t work so well? Sometimes people don’t fail forward. When people do something wrong or have an error, they don’t address it quickly. I think that is very important to do because problems don’t age well. If you have an issue, you definitely have to address it fast. Another thing that keeps people from growing is sponsorship. You want to make sure you are developing sponsors around your organization. These are people who are talking on your behalf when you’re not in the room. You need that because it helps validate your work and who you are in the firm.

Meade presenting at a high school

Not working in finance, you may not genuinely get that experience. Industries like tech and consulting are a good place to start too. From my perspective, within finance, there are so many different aspects to it. You don’t have to just do banking. You can do wealth management or risk management. You can do tech within finance as well; my team has done several tech projects. We have a strategy group within the firm that pretty much acts as a consulting team. These career paths within finance organizations are infinite. You’re just in it in a different way. I mean, tech is extremely important just to business in general. As businesses are changing, firms are doing extremely big digital transformations to stay ahead of the curve. It’s needed more than ever within the finance industry and it’s happening very rapidly.

Starting off your career, you want to be a sponge – pick up as much as you can learn. I think that’s the best way to get yourself acclimated to different parts of the firm. Meet different people: grab a coffee and learn what people are doing. Talk to your analyst peers. You’re going to have trained with different analyst groups. You’ll want to keep in contact with them, as everyone is growing and learning. That way, you’ll have people to talk to about how their experience is as well. It is important to have that network and team that is doing something similar where you can share like-minded thoughts.

I recently came back from Abu Dhabi during our global study tour. It was phenomenal meeting people from the United Arab Emirates. We got to go into the businesses, listen to speakers and watch presentations, and then see how they do business. It was a life-changing experience. We visited several firms there – firms within technology, media, finance – and it was great to see the different team cultures. We were also able to visit the actual country and do some site seeing. We visited the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. We went to the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. It was nice to see the country and meet business people. We also met a lot of Stern grads and had a night out with the alumni.

We had one entrepreneurial panel that was really fascinating – talking about how these businesses are thriving within the UAE, building a business from the ground up. There were some similarities to the US, but it was definitely good to go there and look at the differences along with the ways the businesses are evolving over time. A big focus of the UAE has been oil. Now, they are trying to expand into different industries. They are looking at building technology startups and investing in private equity and startup finance companies. They’re investing in media to bring more people into the UAE. It was such a great trip and I grew closer to my classmates as well.

Matthew Meade

With these four aspects of power, you could use them all at once to be who you’re supposed to be.  Sometimes, you don’t have all four aspects of power at the same time. It is important to seek them out and use them to empower yourself and other people. This was my biggest lesson, which I learned in a class called Power and Politics.

Within my job, network power is very important. I like to introduce people to other people. I like to grab coffee with a lot of people. Now, within a COVID environment, it is different. People aren’t traveling as much. It is easier to reach out to someone and catch up over Zoom or Google Meet. Also, Expert power has been very important. Now doing my executive MBA, I am focused on growing as an expert in the field and growing my portfolio.

Another big lesson was that Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are happening very, very quickly; a lot of jobs that require human interface are going to be going away soon. That was part of a Leadership and Organizations course and it got our cohort into some really interesting conversations.

The courseload I am taking now – analytics, leadership, and strategy – has been very, very helpful. Also, change management is important. Industries are changing very rapidly. I think having that skill set has been very vital in terms of building out teams and also adapting to situations we don’t anticipate such as COVID.

Within that, it is important to give back to others. Also, I was in the same program when I was going to college. It was very, very helpful for me. I wanted to make sure I gave back. With that, I was talking to the recipient earlier today and he is thinking about his major. We talked a lot about what’s going on in the industry and the finance and business classes he should take. We talked about how things are evolving and what might be most useful for him to take. When I was in that predicament, back when I was taking classes, I knew I wanted to do business. However, I didn’t know what courses I should take opposed to other courses. I think the conversation was helpful for him and it was good to be able to share that knowledge as far as changes and developments in the business and what might add value longer-term.

This has been one of the most rewarding experiences because I’ve been able to provide opportunities for others.

WALL STREET GETS ITS FINANCE MBAS FROM THESE SCHOOLS” data-reactid=”146″>DON’T MISS: WALL STREET GETS ITS FINANCE MBAS FROM THESE SCHOOLS

10 YEARS LATER: HOW COLUMBIA BUSINESS SCHOOL WEATHERED THE FINANCIAL MELTDOWN” data-reactid=”147″>10 YEARS LATER: HOW COLUMBIA BUSINESS SCHOOL WEATHERED THE FINANCIAL MELTDOWN

Meade presenting at a school

Wisdom on the Way to Wall Street: 22 Steps to Navigating Your Road to Success.” data-reactid=”165″>Here are summaries of three chapters from Meade’s book, Wisdom on the Way to Wall Street: 22 Steps to Navigating Your Road to Success.

take the first step, take a leap of faith in all that you do.  In your leap of faith, there will be unexpected obstacles thrown your way. The more risks you take the more adaptable you are to certain situations because you have developed experience. If you’re not willing to risk the usual you’ll have to settle for the ordinary. A risk can come in many forms.  You could be offered an opportunity in the form of a new job or higher education that would require you to move across the country leaving your parents and friends. A risk-averse person would turn down the offer and possibly the chance to advance themselves and learn new experiences along the way.  A person who looks risks in the face and doesn’t let fear conquer them would lean into the experiences that have the potential for greater reward and growth potential. As hard as it may be, don’t be afraid to take a risk that will challenge you to grow.” data-reactid=”167″>Taking risks is a necessary part of obtaining success. We know that being comfortable or complacent can negatively affect your growth. You have to dare to take risks but don’t just take the first step, take a leap of faith in all that you do.  In your leap of faith, there will be unexpected obstacles thrown your way. The more risks you take the more adaptable you are to certain situations because you have developed experience. If you’re not willing to risk the usual you’ll have to settle for the ordinary. A risk can come in many forms.  You could be offered an opportunity in the form of a new job or higher education that would require you to move across the country leaving your parents and friends. A risk-averse person would turn down the offer and possibly the chance to advance themselves and learn new experiences along the way.  A person who looks risks in the face and doesn’t let fear conquer them would lean into the experiences that have the potential for greater reward and growth potential. As hard as it may be, don’t be afraid to take a risk that will challenge you to grow.

One difficult thing about taking risks is the uncertainty that comes along with it. For example, when applying for new career opportunities it’s vital to apply to roles where you have at least two out of three of the main requirements. My background is in sales, risk, finance, and analytics however I would not let that stop me from applying to a marketing role that involves reviewing the marketing materials from an analytical perspective for finance companies.  While some may consider it risky, I wouldn’t stop myself from using the skills I do have to explore an opportunity where I can adapt and learn something new.  As you take risks it’ll be uncomfortable at times but as a leader, you have to tap into that feeling of discomfort and use it as your fuel towards realizing your full potential.  Either you can dare to take risks or risk living a life of mediocrity.

It’s always good to have supporters in your corner.  For example, a boxer has a coach or trainer serving as a cornerman.  This person provides assistance, motivation, and encouragement.  However, when the bell rings and the new round begins, the fighter must leave their cornerman and face the opponent on their own.  This same scenario applies to how we face challenges in life.  Sometimes your elevation may require isolation from family members and friends.  As you progress, there may be obstacles that you have to face in isolation.  Think about it like coin currency, specifically the comparison of a nickel to a dime. A dime is much smaller in size compared to a nickel. However, a dime holds more value than the nickel. Your relationships should be viewed in the same light as the quantity of people you surround yourself with does not equate to the value that they are bringing to your life.  The most important thing you can do on your road to expansion is to protect your energy. If you do that well, you will attract positivity and negate negativity. When you’re working in your quiet space and focusing on leveling up, everyone doesn’t need to know what your next move is going to be. Focus on the task at hand and let the results be your noise. Outside opinions are not necessary when you are working in your own lane and trying to elevate. When you’re in the space of growth, creativity and innovation it’s best to work more and talk less. You’ll get more done focusing on and mastering your craft and gain a clearer vision on what you want to manifest.

today can be a “yes”  tomorrow.” data-reactid=”172″>Nothing is more frustrating than when you are driving to a destination and you continuously run into red lights along the way. You’re sitting behind the steering wheel and as the next intersection approaches you’re anxious for a long-awaited green light. Similarly, I have run into many red lights while pursuing my aspirations and have been told “no” so many times whether applying to opportunities or trying new things. You may be told no or turned down for an opportunity but you owe it to yourself to never give up. A “no” today can be a “yes”  tomorrow.

You have to accept the fact that at times, you will be turned down. People may not initially believe in your idea but if you continue to believe in yourself and work hard, they will eventually see your vision unfold. Don’t get held up by what people say or think. I turn rejection into my motivation to keep propelling forward. The brightest ideas can emerge from the darkest places. As you’re being told no or rejected, bounce back even stronger. Sometimes being told “no” can be a blessing in disguise for something far greater to come in the future. Make sure to outlast the rejection because your ability to be triumphant does not diminish based on how others view you.

click here” data-reactid=”174″>To order a copy of the book, click here

New Book: How MBAs Can Excel on Wall Street appeared first on Poets&Quants.” data-reactid=”175″>The post New Book: How MBAs Can Excel on Wall Street appeared first on Poets&Quants.