JP Morgan’s Anu Aiyengar: I didn’t know basic things like how to dress in professional environment


JANUARY 16, 2023

Indian-origin Anu Aiyengar has become the only woman to head mergers and acquisitions on wall street. The 52-year-old has been with JP Morgan Chase &Co for 20 years and was named co-head of global M&A in 2020. After her co-head Dirk Albersmeier stepped aside to focus on client work, Aiyengar now takes the sole reins of the company’s M&A business.

Anu Aiyengar was born in India and moved to the United States as a teenager. She graduated from the Smith College of liberal arts in Massachusetts with an undergraduate degree in Economics and Computer Science. She has an MBA degree from Vanderbilt University, Tennessee.

She grew up in Kerala. Her father worked for the government. In interviews, she has revealed, that she struggled in her early days at the bank – not because of the work but because of the culture. “I didn’t know basic things like how you behave and how you talk and how you present and how you dress in a professional environment,” she was quoted by a report in Financial Review.

When she applied for a job on Wall Street she was rejected as she was told she has three strikes against her. The recruiter told her: “How can I hire you? You are the wrong gender, wrong colour and wrong country.”

She of course ignored that interviewer and went on to hold several important roles during her career. Before joining JPMorgan in 1999, she spent four years at American Express, between 1993 and 1997.

Aiyengar has been a JP Morgan veteran for over 20 years and has sled the bank’s M&A franchise since 2020 when she was promoted to the role.

Aiyengar has advised on several large deals, including Burger King’s acquisition of Tim Horton Inc, news agency Reuters reported.

She became the co-head of JPMorgan’s M&A franchise at the age of 50, becoming the only woman and person of colour to hold that post.

She was named in the Forbes annual 50 Over 50: Money list of 200 entrepreneurs, investors, creators and entertainers in 2022.

According to Forces, Aiyengar has advised both clients from the US and outside on over $500 billion worth of transactions, including mergers, acquisitions.

Reuters said that Aiyengar is among a handful of women executives on Wall Street to lead a global M&A advisory franchise.

JP Morgan co-heads wrote about Aiyengar and Albersmeier in a memo that “During their time as global co-heads, we have significantly enhanced our activism defence and sell-side business and firmly established our M&A practice as a core component of our client offering.

Courtesy/Source: Times Now / PTI