Global Head, J.P. Morgan’s Alternatives Investment Services
After building Citco from the ground-up, Stephanie Miller joined J.P. Morgan in January 2012 to head-up the investment bank’s Alternatives Investment Services division.
Her leadership at the fund administrator during a testing time for the industry is one factor leading to her current role as global head of alternative investments at J.P. Morgan, where she has expanded the fund administration business with functions like investor reporting and middle-office outsourcing during the integration of Investor Services with the Corporate and Investment Bank.
“The sheer size and scale of this business is formidable to say the least,” says Miller. “J.P. Morgan is a complex set of end-to-end processing, which is the value proposition, including settlement, trade execution, origination, fund administration and the end-to-end data of capturing the hedge funds and their activities.”
Miller notes there are other wide-ranging effects that come with being an investment bank. “For example, we took the debt crisis and the Greek crisis extremely seriously as these events have implications across our businesses,” she says.
Miller set up Citco’s middle-office services business about 10 years ago and grew that business from six to 100 people. “Citco was extremely well positioned to take advantage of the growth of the market until 2007, and the whole world changed in 2008. We were thinking on our feet, we were adaptive, and we were critical business problem solvers,” she recalls.
At J.P. Morgan, Miller is building on the same process on a larger scale with a global firm in a regulated entity. “We move things by virtue of who we are in scale and scope,” she says. “We are very critical and analytical, and we see how our decisions can have real implications for clients.”
In her 18 months at J.P. Morgan in New York, Miller has been responsible for building the Alternative Investment Services business and has traveled to China, Australia and Europe in order to understand the breadth of the investment bank.
“Citco was a very entrepreneurial environment. I was thinking on the fly and growing with the industry. Now, it’s different in that our work interacts with other parts of the business in a way that requires deep expertise and applying it in a global way,” says Miller. “It’s a global business.
“At Citco, we knew what to do with hedge funds, how to work with them, how to offer accounting, middle-office type services and we knew the space very well. We were able to solution things very quickly for those clients in a period of credit problems and liquidity issues and to be their partner.”
The onset of the financial crisis provided the turning point in Miller’s career when she was given the opportunity to apply her experience to an investment bank. “I saw every fund administrator lose assets in 2008,” she says. “When I joined J.P. Morgan, I had an option to take that narrow vertical understanding and apply the successes over time in a much broader, wider arena where we can agency clear collateral.”
To this day, Miller keeps her Citco roots close to heart. “From a personal perspective, I love Citco. I grew up with them, and going through the credit crisis they stuck by their clients. And it was a good story, and I value that.”
–Janet Du Chenne