Tha­sunda Duck­ett, Chase’s new con­sumer bank CEO

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - BUSINESS - By Ken Sweet AP Business Writer

NEW YORK >> Tha­sunda Duck­ett be­came the CEO of JPMor­gan Chase’s con­sumer bank­ing divi­sion in late Septem­ber, be­com­ing the first African-Amer­i­can to hold that job at the na­tion’s largest bank by as­sets.

Duck­ett, a mother of four, spoke to The Associated Press about how she started her ca­reer and what role she tries to fill as a men­tor and how she tries to bal­ance work and per­sonal life in her new job.

Q : How’d you get your start in bank­ing?

A : I got into bank­ing through a pro­gram called In­roads. It’s a pro­gram that pre­pares mi­nori­ties for cor­po­rate and com­mu­nity lead­er­ship. Hon­estly, when I think about where I am to­day, I would say that be­ing a part of In­roads was and still is one of the most im­pact­ful pro­fes­sional moments in my life. If you talk to suc­cess­ful mi­nori­ties, specif­i­cally African-Americans, you’ll be sur­prised how many are In­roads alums. It re­ally is a spe­cial pro­gram.

My ca­reer started at Fan­nie Mae, which In­roads helped me get. I grew up in the com­pany and re­ally be­lieved in the mis­sion of mak­ing home own­er­ship af­ford­able and ac­ces­si­ble but I wanted to be closer to the cus­tomer. I joined JPMor­gan in 2004 do­ing a lot of work around af­ford­able lend­ing and mi­nor­ity home own­er­ship pro­grams.

Q : As an African-Amer­i­can woman, what ad­vice would you give to young women, par­tic­u­larly young African-Amer­i­can women, who are just start­ing their ca­reers?

A : For me, I un­der­stand that I am on the shoul­ders of gi­ants. To whom much is given, much is re­quired. It is hum­bling to be in the po­si­tion I’m in. But I go back to things that my par­ents in­stilled in me when I was younger: I knew there is no chal­lenge I can’t over­come.

I want ev­ery­one to be proud of them­selves. I think it’s beau­ti­ful to be me, to be a woman, to be black, to be born in New York and raised in Texas be­cause that is who I am. I tell women or other mi­nori­ties to be con­fi­dent in who you are and know that you do be­long. I also tell a lot of the peo­ple I speak to: don’t own some­one else’s bias and neg­a­tiv­ity. Don’t sub­scribe to that. That’s not who you are.

Q : What does your typ­i­cal day look like?

A : There is no typ­i­cal day, but I would say one of my con­stants is I work hard to make sure I see my kids be­fore I leave in the morn­ing. One of my spe­cial mommy moments, if you will, is my daugh­ter Madi­son will make my cof­fee and she will write me a lit­tle note on my cof­fee for me to read on my way to work on the train. That is re­ally spe­cial to me.

At work, my days are like any other ex­ec­u­tive. But I try to talk to as many em­ploy­ees as pos­si­ble to know the business from all lev­els. When I was made CEO of Auto, one of the first things I did was meet with the guys in the mail­room. I don’t think they’ve ever had a CEO in the mail­room. The rea­son why I did that is, one, to say thank you and help them un­der­stand the role that they play in de­liv­er­ing cus--

tomer ex­pe­ri­ence. If a cus­tomer puts the wrong ad­dress on an en­ve­lope and it doesn’t post on time that cre­ates a bad cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence. I wanted them to know how im­por­tant their job was.

I do also spend a lot of time men­tor­ing peo­ple. Peo­ple that want to see how great of a com­pany this is and what type of ca­reer mo­bil­ity there is here.

Q : You re­cently cre­ated a char­ity. Can you tell us about it?

A : It’s called the Otis and Rosie Brown

Foun­da­tion, named after my par­ents. What we do is we give schol­ar­ships based on char­ac­ter and of­ten seed lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions or in­di­vid­u­als that are mak­ing an im­pact. Think about those un­sung he­roes in our com­mu­nity and to be able to shine that light on them and say “thank you.” The web­site is ex­traor­di­naryis.org.

Tha­sunda Duck­ett, CEO of JPMor­gan Chase’s con­sumer bank­ing divi­sion

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