JP Morgan Goes Big in Silicon Valley with Fintech Campus

Following the acquisition of WePay back in 2017, JP Morgan Chase is building upon its Fintech venture with a new Fintech campus in Silicon Valley, according to multiple reports.

According to a blog post on WePay, a prominent Fintech in the payments space, JPM will be building a new center of Fintech innovation. Tina Hsiao, Chief Operating Office of WePay, stated:

“As we continue to pursue our aggressive growth, today we are announcing another exciting milestone – first, our Providence office is moving to a bigger space. Second, our new headquarters will be at a completely new campus in Palo Alto with our JPMorgan Chase colleagues. This campus is being designed for us and built from scratch. When completed in 2020, this campus near Stanford University will have the latest in workplace design, reflecting our employees’ feedback about what matters most. With the new headquarters, we will be able to collaborate more easily and increase creativity. Ultimately, this is another huge milestone for WePay and JPMC, as this new campus demonstrates the major investment that JPMC is making to build a true tech innovation hub in Silicon Valley.”

Hsiao assured everyone that JPM has maintained a hands off approach to their culture of innovation – an important step for embracing change. Too frequently, old school bankers can get in the way of much needed change.

“JPMC has started to embrace ideas on how to compete for Silicon Valley talent and how to build an engineering culture where top notch talent wants to work. On the flip side, we’ve been exposed to a tremendous amount of resources and opportunities from JPMorgan Chase and our existing relationships have become richer due to our increased capabilities,” said Hsiao.

JPM CEO Jamie Dimon is perhaps the most respected banker on Wall Street today. Yet, at times, Dimon has appeared hesitant to disrupt the traditional banking foundation of JPM.

Dimon famously sounded a warning bell that Silicon Valley was coming after brick and mortar banks. He also bashed Bitcoin as a fraud. Today, it appears he has mellowed a bit when it comes to the inevitable, digital future of finance. Don’t fight the tape, as the saying goes.

Hsiao believes that JPM’s acquisition of WePay is blazing a path that old banks will follow. Many others will agree with her.

JPM currently has “thousands of employees who are data scientists or have advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and math.” WePay has been a direct beneficiary of a more tech focused financial firm having hired over 100 new employees since the acquisition. These employees are pursuing various verticals within the Fintech realm such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and more. These are the people who are “driving change across the company.”

In the end, it is change and adapt or die for traditional banks. That’s how it works. But speed of change matters too and some banks are moving faster than others.

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