Managing Director • Global Head of Client Management and Sales for Financing and Markets Products • J.P. Morgan Investor Services •
“Over the last 10 years, I have seen securities lending transform from a sleepy back-office product that didn’t get a lot of attention into a front-office alpha-generating investment overlay business,” says Paul Wilson, managing director, global head of client management and sales for financing and markets products at J.P. Morgan Worldwide Securities Services. “The level of oversight and engagement by all participants in this business has turned 180 degrees. Clients are now very focused on what risks are being taken, how they are being managed and mitigated as well as demanding high levels of transparency in their programs.”
In an industry where some tend to move from organization to organization (and then back to where they started), Wilson has the rare perspective of institutional longevity-he has been with J.P. Morgan for 25 years, starting out as a contractor in the global custody arm of Chase Manhattan. “I have been fortunate to work in an organization that throughout that time has always been a market leader, and has given me the ability to change jobs within the organization,” he says. “I have always felt fulfilled here and have never had a reason to work anywhere else!”
Wilson has held a variety of different positions across Worldwide securities services prior to his current role including operations, client service, product development and product management. So maybe it is this berth of experience that helps Wilson see the silver lining in the past turbulent 18 months.
“Many of the things that happened in August and September last year were once-in-a-lifetime events-yet we had five or six of them in one week,” he says. “For the industry to come through that, for the most part relatively well, is a testament to everyone. I consider that a real positive going forward.”
And the way forward is a path Wilson and J.P. Morgan have been advocating long before things went south, he says. “To be a leading provider the essential ingredients will be a strong balance sheet and capital base; an inherent understanding and granular focus on risk management; the ability to customize and tailor programs particularly with cash reinvestment; and providing high levels of transparency, information flows and performance reporting. At J.P. Morgan we have been advocating these attributes for many years, and these have now proven to be even more important than they were in the past. You really do have to plan around the worst case scenario.”