The FORT Podcast: Elaine Agather – Chairman of DFW Region @ JP Morgan Chase – How A Texas Cowgirl Became The Chairman Of JPMorgan Chase (DFW)

Elaine Agather is Chairman of the Dallas Region for JPMorgan Chase & Co. She also serves as the Central Region Head and Managing Director of The Private Bank at J.P. Morgan.

Elaine joined Chemical Bank of New York in 1979, working in London, San Francisco, and New York until she relocated to Dallas in 1984. After the 1986 merger of Chemical Bank and Texas Commerce Bank, Elaine was promoted to Chairman of Texas Commerce Bank in Fort Worth in 1992 and joined the Private Bank to manage client advisory groups across the state in 1997. In 1999, she was elected Chairman and CEO of Dallas.

On this episode, Elaine and Chris discuss:

– Working with Jamie Dimon

– Wealth Management 101

– Bank runs, cyber threats, AI, and the state of Banking

Listen on:
Apple Podcasts


(00:00:00) – Intro

(00:03:43) – Elaine’s early career in banking

(00:15:40) – Taking over an underperforming bank

(00:18:46) – Elaine’s rodeo career

(00:28:11) – Working with Jamie Dimon

(00:31:17) – Wealth Management

(00:34:08) – How to transition wealth well

(00:39:07) – The process of bringing in a generationally wealthy client

(00:42:19) – The SVB & First Republic bank runs

(00:45:04) – How to find an exceptional wealth manager

(00:46:11) – Cyber threats, crypto & AI

(00:48:40) – The state of banking

(00:51:36) – DFW

(00:55:03) – How do you know you’ve done a good job?

(00:58:29) – Elaine’s 8: Get over it

Episode Summary
Agather, a seasoned banker with decades of experience, currently chairs J.P. Morgan Chase in Dallas and has played a pivotal role in various transformative initiatives within the banking sector.

Elaine Agather’s career began in Sherman, Texas, before she ventured into banking in New York, a move prompted by her desire to engage with dynamic market environments. Her early years in the industry were marked by rapid professional growth, fueled by her adaptability and a keen ability to embrace and learn from feedback. This foundational period laid the groundwork for her philosophy on leadership and her approach to managing complex business challenges.

A significant part of the discussion centered on Agather’s strategic transfer to Fort Worth, Texas, where she was tasked with leading a local bank. She detailed her approach to turning around the bank’s performance, emphasizing the importance of community engagement and understanding local market dynamics. Agather’s narrative underscored the critical role of building and leading strong teams, fostering a culture of feedback, and adapting business strategies to local contexts. These strategies are not only relevant to banking but also resonate deeply with real estate and investment sectors, where community ties and market understanding are equally pivotal.

The conversation also delved into the broader impacts of regulatory changes and economic shifts on the banking industry and related sectors like real estate. Agather highlighted the challenges and opportunities these changes present, particularly in terms of financing and capital flow. Her insights are particularly valuable for professionals dealing with or preparing for significant economic and regulatory shifts in their fields.

Moreover, Agather shared her personal experiences with corporate mergers, offering a rare glimpse into her strategy for navigating these complex scenarios. She emphasized the importance of transparency, openness to learning from new colleagues, and the willingness to adapt roles to serve the broader goals of the organization. Her experience through multiple mergers has equipped her with unique insights on corporate integration and alignment, highly applicable to any professional involved in or anticipating mergers and acquisitions.

Elaine Agather’s involvement in the Fort Worth community, particularly through local events like rodeos, illustrated her commitment to integrating personal passions with professional responsibilities. This blend of personal engagement with professional activities highlights a model for balancing personal interests with career obligations, fostering a personal brand that resonates within and beyond the industry.

The FORT is produced by Johnny Podcasts

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