India-Born Anu Aiyengar Rakes In $575 Billions For JPMorgan

India-Born Anu Aiyengar Rakes In 5 Billions For JPMorgan
'Outstanding At What She Does': India-Born Rakes In Billions For JPMorgan

Anu Aiyengar’s crew, has notched up better than $575 billion in transactions this yr.


  • Anu Aiyengar’s crew notched up over $575 billion in transaction this yr
  • She’s the co-head of JPMorgan’s worldwide mergers and acquisitions enterprise
  • Solely particular person of shade and solely girl to hold that place on Wall Avenue

As JPMorgan Chase & Co. searches for its first important acquisition in further than a decade, Anu Aiyengar can have a hand in shaping the big monetary establishment’s future. She’s the co-head of its worldwide mergers and acquisitions enterprise, and the one particular person of shade and solely girl to hold that place on Wall Avenue. It has been a distinctive trajectory for an Indian immigrant who moved to the U.S. as a teen to evaluation at Smith School, shivering by way of the bitter Massachusetts winter in a $5 coat.

“M&A was traditionally a male bastion-often cigar-smoking males in suspenders-and now she is on the excessive of the sector, on account of she is solely glorious at what she does,” says her boss, JPMorgan Chief Govt Officer Jamie Dimon.

Advising companies on M&A is no doubt one of many standing roles in funding banking, producing every huge prices and headlines when a deal comes collectively. Aiyengar was promoted to her current place in February, just about 20 years after ignoring one Wall Avenue interviewer who suggested her she couldn’t be employed for M&A on account of she was of the unsuitable shade, gender, and nation. Her yr began with a bang when JPMorgan instructed ETrade on its $13 billion sale to Morgan Stanley, a deal that earned the monetary establishment $81 million in prices.

That exact same deal has put JPMorgan and completely different giant banks beneath some pressure. Inside the years as a result of the 2008 financial catastrophe subsided, there have been hardly any important acquisitions by excessive Wall Avenue companies. Morgan Stanley’s searching for spree-it moreover snapped up a fund agency JPMorgan had approached-may have signaled the start of a wave of takeovers. At a conference in December, Dimon joked that bankers at completely different companies with good ideas for acquisitions ought to provide him a reputation. If JPMorgan does uncover a tempting objective, Aiyengar might be among the many many key executives serving to to barter a deal.

On the same time, Aiyengar is guiding JPMorgan’s M&A retailer by way of an unprecedented disruption. Rapidly after she took over, the worldwide pandemic and lockdowns dragged deal train in April and May to their lowest for any two-month interval in 22 years, whereas companies had been pressured to provide consideration to survival. After touring every week for 20 years to fulfill customers all through the U.S. and sometimes overseas, Aiyengar found herself grounded. She didn’t depart her Midtown Manhattan condominium for 66 days, working her crew over Zoom and devising new strategies of fascinated about dealmaking amid what she calls a “seismic shift.”

“The best way ahead for work and the best way ahead for a way points happen in all industries is perpetually modified,” she says. The pandemic has confirmed how technology-driven just about every worthwhile enterprise is, blurring the strains between typical sectors. “So M&A bankers should have the pliability to cross-pollinate amongst completely completely different industries,” she says.

It’s one factor she’s achieved sooner than. Jeffrey Sprecher, CEO of Intercontinental Change Inc., proprietor of the New York Stock Change, says Aiyengar has been helpful as they considered distinctive ideas, along with the company’s foiled attempt at a tieup with a novel type of digital market: on-line public sale web site EBay Inc. “We had dozens and dozens of conversations over a interval of years fascinated about EBay and what parts might match with ICE and whether or not or not completely different companions could very properly be involved and who these companions have to be,” Sprecher says. “My shareholders didn’t just like the idea, nevertheless part of my job is contemplating rising the company, and internally we had been more than happy with it. She was very blunt and thoughtful about contemplating by way of points.”

Sprecher’s deal wasn’t to be, nevertheless Aiyengar and her co-head, Dirk Albersmeier, have notched up better than $575 billion of transactions this yr, primarily based on data compiled by Bloomberg. The guidelines consists of LVMH’s $16 billion purchase of Tiffany-the biggest-ever deal inside the luxurious industry-and last month’s $8.7 billion merger of Home Depot Inc. and HD Present Holdings Inc.

Inside the rankings of excessive M&A advisers, JPMorgan slipped one spot in 2020 to third place. Nonetheless Carlos Hernandez, authorities chair of funding and firm banking at JPMorgan, is just not nervous about that. He says Aiyengar had already helped take the monetary establishment “from good to good” all through her stint as co-head of its North American M&A crew, noting that one amongst her important achievements was to barter better prices for the monetary establishment’s corporations. “She is definitely part of the next expertise who might be working this place for the next 20, 30 years, and this job goes to get her ready for that,” Hernandez says.

Hernandez, part of the JPMorgan crew that employed Aiyengar in 1999, says he was immediately impressed with every her drive and her guidelines. “I am from El Salvador myself, and I received right here to this nation to go to highschool one of the simplest ways she did, and in some strategies you have to endure some adversity alongside one of the simplest ways,” he says. “What you research from that is invaluable.”

Aiyengar grew up inside the southern Indian state of Kerala. Her father labored for the federal authorities; her mother didn’t work nevertheless went once more to highschool and later turned a coach. Aiyengar says she struggled in her early days on the bank-not with the work nevertheless with the custom. “I didn’t know primary objects like the best way you behave and the best way you talk about and the best way you present and the best way you robe in educated environment,” she says.

She tried to range her Indian accent to sound additional American and fretted about do her hair and make-up. She requested the assistant of the one senior female on her flooring for advice on the place to purchase clothes, nevertheless the prices on the boutique her colleague helpful shocked her. She turned as an alternative to Robe for Success, a charity that provides expert attire for women. “They assume you have no idea what to do, they often say ‘let me help you’-very completely completely different from some retail outlets, who check out you need you don’t belong,” she says. Aiyengar was honored last yr for her work with the charity.

Girls at JPMorgan threw Aiyengar a celebration when she was promoted to co-head of North American M&A in 2015. Dimon says he was a unusual male invitee to the celebration. It was an mandatory second for Aiyengar, whose mother turned enthralled by Dimon after his dialogue of firm social responsibility on a go to to India. “For individuals who go to Google on her iPad, the issue that pops up is ‘JPMorgan, Jamie Dimon,’ ” Aiyengar says. “She wouldn’t observe me, she solely follows Jamie.”

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Written by Harry Rosen

Harry Rosen is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author.

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