EXCLUSIVE JPMorgan to hire about 2,000 engineers even as economy softens

PLANO, Texas, Sept 30 (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co plans to hire about 2,000 engineers worldwide by the end of the year despite a deteriorating economy, global chief information officer Lori Beer said on Wednesday.

The largest U.S. lender net hired more than 5,000 software developers and data scientists last year and looks to attract a few thousand more if tech giants stop hiring or cut jobs. Tech employees make up about 20% of the bank’s approximately 278,000 employees worldwide.

“We’re definitely still hiring,” Beer said in an interview at the bank’s Plano, Texas office at DevUp, an internal JPMorgan conference attended by 500 of the company’s top engineers. The investment signals that JPMorgan is “a safe place to be in uncertain economic times. … When you go into a tough economic time and things are very volatile, that plays in our favor,” Beer said.

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Roles will be spread across the bank, including general software engineering, data science, cybersecurity and cloud computing.

Competition in hot tech job markets like Silicon Valley, Seattle, Texas and India has eased slightly as fewer candidates are considering multiple job offers at once, Beer said. Some tech companies, crypto exchanges, and financial firms are shedding jobs and slowing hiring as global economic growth slows. read more JPMorgan’s Plano campus, built on a former horse ranch, resembles the tech offices of Silicon Valley more than its imposing Madison Avenue headquarters in New York. The new buildings are flooded with natural light, and meeting rooms are furnished with couches and whiteboards. There are other typical tech company amenities: large cafeterias offering a variety of cuisines, as well as ping-pong and pool tables. There are local touches, too, including a smokehouse that serves grilled food.

In recent years, banks have faced stiff competition for workers from technology companies, who have paid large chunks of their compensation in company stock. Engineers were also drawn to technology companies that developed novel products and services quickly, with casual cultures and perks abounding.

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In contrast, banks have sometimes been viewed as stuffy companies operating on older technology and stifling innovation with strict regulations.

JPMorgan aims to debunk that perception, Beer said.

“How do we dispel the myth and help people understand the innovations that are happening here and the complex issues?” Beer said, highlighting opportunities to work on projects that impact millions of customers or move trillions of dollars . For example, engineers could join teams that move applications to the cloud, strengthen the bank’s cyber defenses, or help automate back-office processes.

Analysts have questioned JPMorgan’s plan to spend $14.1 billion on technology this year. At its investor day in May, JPMorgan executives outlined a number of initiatives, such as personalizing the mobile app, improving e-commerce payment offerings, and modernizing infrastructure. Many US banks have made it a priority in recent years to increase investment in their own technology.

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At the three-day event in Texas this week, Beer and Sandhya Sridharan, head of core engineering and JPMorgan’s development platform, along with technology leaders from the bank’s major divisions, welcomed a group composed mostly of vice presidents and employees who write the code that underpins JPMorgan’s systems .

“A lot of this is about human interaction — the networking, the collaboration, the trust that you build — you can’t do that over Zoom,” Sridharan said. “We want practitioners to come and learn from each other.”

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Reporting by Lananh Nguyen; Editing by Megan Davies and Leslie Adler

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