In a surprise announcement the world’s most valuable bank, PJ Margon Choice (PJMC), has announced that their long-standing leader, John Demon, is standing down to be replaced by Tim Blomfjord, the founder of Mongo.
In the press release there are some interesting nuances as Demon states:
“I realised that now is the time to leave as the technology world and digitalisation is taking over all areas of banking. We are not prepared for this and, even though we’ve invested $12 billion this year in technology, we feel that a more radical change needs to happen. Therefore, I’m delighted to be handing over the reins of the bank to this wonderkid who, at 35, can make PJMC more fit for the future.” [Ed: how can you call a 35-year old a kid?]
Tim Blomfjord is also quoted as saying:
“Whilst I fully respect the achievements of the great PJMC and its CEO John Demon, I am very excited to take this opportunity to change an old bank into a new one.”
The press release went on to state that Blomfjord had been chosen as a person who is a game-changer in banking and financial services.
“PJMC has chosen Blomfjord to ensure that the bank’s future is preserved and ignited to be a truly digital bank. It is obvious from past performance that banks are not changing fast enough, and we want PJMC to be a disruptor and not the disrupted. It is clear that this cannot be achieved if the leadership of the bank is by a person who is not immersed in technology, digitalisation and the network.”
Interestingly, comments from the markets were divided and the PJMC share price has risen by 5% in early morning trading. Key investors from other banks seem to be surprised by the new appointment. Joey Jones from Goldish Stats stated:
“I am impressed that PJMC has taken such a bold move. After two decades of steerage from a heroic financial figure like Demon, the fact they are rebooting the bank with such a young, new CEO is quite something. This clearly shows the importance of technology and digitalisation to the future of banking, and Tim’s elevation is truly deserved.”
In contrast, David Dash from City Grouch disagreed:
“It is an enormous risk to first, appoint someone so young; second, appoint someone who is not a banker by background; and third, not appoint me. PJMC is clearly a sell.”
Personally, it didn’t surprise me much, as PJMC has always been on the leading-edge of technology. I’m now far more interested in how Tim shakes up the company. Right now, there is not a single technologist on the leadership team of PJMC. How will that change?
According to insiders, Tim is already making moves and has hired several FinTech founders and visionary technology people to join him at the bank. If true, PJMC will see its leadership team change from one with an average age of 56 to an executive team that average 42, and includes many of colour and race, as well as diversity and background. If true, that will be a turn-up for the books to find a major Wall Street bank that isn’t run by men of same colour and background.
In fact, potentially, this is a seminal moment in banking. Let us watch, wait and see.
It is April 1st
Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...