This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
A longtime JPMorgan executive who has kept a low public profile while cultivating a reputation as a successful trader with a talent for managing risk is emerging as a contender to succeed Jamie Dimon as chief executive.
Dimon, the longest-tenured Wall Street CEO, has not revealed plans to retire, though the financial industry has speculated on his succession planning and the people most likely to replace him for more than a decade.
Troy Rohrbaugh was named co-CEO of JPMorgan’s commercial and investment bank, known as the CIB, as part of an internal executive reshuffle JPMorgan announced last week. CIB is a sprawling group encompassing global investment banking, commercial banking, and other core businesses. Rohrbaugh will run the CIB together with Jennifer Piepszak, a longtime executive who industry insiders have for years floated as a possible Dimon successor.
Wall Street already knows Piepszak, who had most recently been co-chief executive of consumer and community banking and was the firm’s finance chief from 2019 until 2021. Analysts and investors are also very familiar with Marianne Lake, another long-tenured key executive who was elevated in the reorganization announced last week and is most frequently rumored to take over from Dimon when he eventually retires.
Rohrbaugh, 53, is lesser known to Wall Street than these colleagues. His new position through the internal shuffle has vaulted him more publicly and prominently into the most closely watched succession race on Wall Street.
Now, the industry will watch how Rohrbaugh will guide the CIB as JPMorgan performs above analysts’ expectations even in a slumped deal market. Business Insider has tracked Rohrbaugh’s trajectory from his college days to his most recent role as cohead of markets and securities services.
One industry recruiter noted that Rohrbaugh’s background as a risk manager could make him a powerful C-Suite contender.
Indeed, Dimon is known for boasting about JPMorgan’s “fortress balance sheet,” or its ability to protect against financial shocks while giving its employees the flexibility to test money-making ideas. “They take prolific risk and manage it well,” this person said.
‘Fortunes began to change’
Rohrbaugh arrived at JPMorgan in 2005, the year JPMorgan announced it would name Dimon, who had been president and chief operating officer, as CEO. Rohrbaugh joined the firm from Goldman Sachs, where he managed the foreign-exchange options business for North America.
His first post at JPMorgan was global head of forex derivatives. After years of troubles in JPMorgan’s forex business, “the bank’s fortunes began to change” after Rohrbaugh joined in 2005, Euromoney wrote in 2017. He had been a “source of stability not just for JPMorgan but also for the broader FX industry during its most turbulent years,” the publication wrote. The bank then became the first to introduce the ability to trade from a mobile device, the article said.
Rohrbaugh and longtime executive Eddie Wen, who had also joined JPMorgan from Goldman around the same time as Rohrbaugh, both had a hand in bringing quants and technologists “into the front office so that the business could take ownership of its system development rather than relying on a separate IT department,” Euromoney reported in 2017.
JPMorgan executive David Hudson told the publication that he returned to JPMorgan after working at Nomura in 2010 “to work for Troy.” He saw how the business had “matured after five years. It was clearly much more aggressive and capable, and there was a big focus on electronic distribution as well as on risk management.”
Though his profile is less familiar to outside observers, Rohrbaugh’s name is well-known across JPMorgan and in forex industry and advocacy groups. He had been chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s foreign-exchange committee and the chair of the Global Financial Markets Association’s foreign-exchange group. He’s also familiar with regulators, appearing on Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler’s calendar of meetings with other top JPMorgan executives in 2022 and 2023.
Rohrbaugh’s other stops at JPMorgan have been head of global markets and head of macro markets. Before he worked at Goldman, Rohrbaugh ran the Asian foreign exchange options business for the Canadian bank Banque Nationale and started his career trading options for CooperNeff at the Philadelphia Stock Exchange.
Rohrbaugh’s career spans the dot-com bust, the global financial crisis, and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, that devastated so many on Wall Street who worked in lower Manhattan.
While Rohrbaugh was at Goldman, his firm was close to the World Trade Center, and he experienced loss during the attacks. According to the New York Daily News, he was one of the last people to speak with the Cantor Fitzgerald broker Tim Soulas, who was killed. Cantor lost 658 employees in the attacks that day.
Rohrbaugh before Wall Street
The Baltimore native’s earliest workplace experience, though, was not in a trading pit.
“I was 16, and I was a security guard at a condominium at the Seaside,” he said as part of a series of interviews JPMorgan published in 2015 about executives’ first jobs. “I worked in my father’s business for about 40 hours during the week, and then I worked another 36 to 38 hours from Friday night ’til early Sunday morning.”
Rohrbaugh remains involved in his Maryland alma maters. He is on the board of trustees of Gilman School, an all-boys preparatory school that Rohrbaugh graduated from in 1988.
In 1992 he graduated from Johns Hopkins University, where he studied political science, played football, and is now a member of an advisory board there. In a video addressing the university’s football team last year, he said “pride and poise,” a slogan the football team uses, are two traits that helped him as a player and in his career.
He said that along with being prepared while under pressure, “you need to be calm and thoughtful and ready for when things aren’t working out.”
He was the president of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity while attending Johns Hopkins, where his frat brothers embraced a special tradition of throwing dozens of shoes out the window and onto a tree outside the frat house east of the college campus, the Baltimore Sun reported in 1992.
Students would leave the house, forget something, and yell at their roommates about throwing their items out the window, Rohrbaugh explained to the paper. Once, that item was a pair of shoes, and it got tangled in the tree. “From then on, any time you wore out a pair of shoes, or your roommate had really smelly feet with a tendency to leave his shoes l
In the yearslong push and pull between what Wall Street firms’ management and wider workforces want with remote work during the pandemic, Rohrbaugh has been chronicled as a vocal supporter of in-person work. That rubbed some employees the wrong way earlier in the pandemic, according to reports.
He is one of many finance executives who spoke publicly about their desire to have more employees working in person rather than at home.
Bloomberg reported that in March 2020, while New York was in a state-mandated lockdown, a JPMorgan employee wrote in a note to colleagues about Rohrbaugh continuing to “want to push everyone to get back into the office,” which JPMorgan disputed at the time.
A senior JPMorgan executive who works with Rohrbaugh recalled that time during the pandemic. This person said on Wednesday that he had managed trading operations well during Covid and took “tremendous” precautions for staff.
Kaja Whitehouse and Alex Morrell contributed reporting.
ying around, they’d end up on the tree,” he said.
“You get a technique after you’ve been here,” Rohrbaugh said. “You can always tell a freshman or sophomore because he’ll miss the tree three or four times, and when he finally hits it, it won’t wrap around.”
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