“You do nothing by halves either to your enemies or friends.” (Lord Minto to Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson, 18th May 1803)
Much has and will be written about the extraordinary man who was Horatio Nelson, his battles, his personal life and his management style. Little is written about Admiral Pierre-Charles de Villeneuve. He was the opposing commander of the combined French and Spanish Fleet at Trafalgar. He lost.
Villeneuve was born in 1763 at Valensole, Basses Alpes, and joined the French Navy in 1778. He took part in the naval operations in the American Revolutionary War, serving as an ensign.
Despite his aristocratic ancestry, he sympathised with the French Revolution,and was able to continue his service in the Navy when other aristocratic officers were purged. He served during several battles, and was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1796.
Another aspect about Villeneuve he was an exceptional strategist. It was Villeneuve’s strategy that Nelson so brilliantly implemented at Trafalgar. Instead of lumbering alongside each other and delivering ‘broadsides’, figure one shows, that Nelson divided his fleet in two
Figure one – Nelson’s intended line of attack through the enemy fleet
and decimated the enemy in a pell-mell battle. Villeneuve was effectively destroyed by his own intellectual capital. I can only imagine his anguish. Thus, in business give me the implementer over the strategist anytime.
Managing Director and Head of Client Relationships for JPMorgan Securities Services, Bryan Gray, is an implementer of high order. I worked with, for and against Bryan for over sixteen years. In competition staring over the parapets if I saw Bryan in the opposing camp I knew three things – it would be long, it would be bare knuckled and it would be without quarter. He is simply a tough competitor and it is impossible not to respect him. His upbringing would have contributed to that toughness. The son of a British submariner, his father served on the first nuclear powered sub in the Royal Navy- the Dreadnought. (Dreadnought was laid down on 12 June 1959, and launched by Queen Elizabeth II on Trafalgar Day, 21 October 1960, and a ship with the same name fought for the British at Trafalgar). Bryan was born in Glasgow, where a kiss is not kindly, he moved to New Zealand at age eight and has spent 24 years in ‘custody’, all these things toughen a bloke. In 1989 he moved to Australia and joined State Street, where he built their New Zealand business. In
Figure two – HMS Dreadnought
the year 2000 he joined J.P. Morgan Securities Services and has been responsible for many of their major wins. These have been critical to the success of J.P. Morgan in Australia. Australian Super is one name, probably this region’s foremost fund – innovative, big and fast growing. But there have been many more – Future Plus, Qantas, Health Super, Black Rock and BT to name a few.
‘Custody is much more than the name suggests”, says Gray. “It is much more than that” and JPMorgan is much more than just custody. It is the second largest bank in the world by assets with total assets of $2.509 trillion. It is a major provider of financial services, and according to Forbes magazine is the world’s second largest public company based on a composite ranking.
The J.P. Morgan brand, historically known as Morgan, is used by the investment banking as well as the asset management, private banking, private wealth management and treasury & securities services divisions. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is considered to be a universal bank. And this is just fine for Bryan, as these days’ people want a more “holistic” approach. And a holistic approach that only JPMorgan and their 260,000 people can provide.
JPMorgan’s major client in Australia, Australian Super, needs this type of service. They have become so complex and have so much happening that J.P.Morgan’s vast array of offerings and services works perfectly. Size and complexity suit this model and Gray is the perfect guy to implement these things for them, after all it is implementation that gives you the result.