Calculating Success

John Hogan ’88

John Hogan ’88 uses his leadership role at JP Morgan to open doors for HWS students

by Catherine Williams

The first time I met John Hogan, we were in the Salisbury Center for Career Services,” says Colby Feane ’06. “I had just completed an interview with Eric Stein [Hobart class of ’89] for a possible internship with JP Morgan. It was the most difficult interview I had ever done and I was relieved it was over. I walked into the hallway and there was John. He didn’t even say hi. He just came over to me, took the knot of my tie and straightened it.”

“Oh yeah, that’s true,” laughs Hogan. “His tie was hanging down and his top button was undone.”

That interaction set the stage for what has become a decade-long friendship. “John went out on a limb to hire me,” Feane explains. “Before that, I worked summers in an air conditioning factory. Going to JP Morgan in New York City, working on John’s team, that was intimidating. But he leveled the playing field for me and instilled a sense of confidence. John ushered me into that environment and he became my friend.”

Hogan has been guiding Hobart and William Smith students for years. In a business that tends to favor Ivy League credentials, Hogan has made sure that HWS students have a shot.

“I find Hobart and William Smith students have the drive to succeed, to outwork the people from what might be considered more selective schools,” explains Hogan. “It’s an excellent trait. And they have a broader perspective that they’ve gained from the liberal arts background. The kids from other colleges are very well prepared in subjects like accounting or corporate finance, but they struggle with out-of-the-box questions. The emotional intelligence – or EQ – of HWS kids, though, is higher and that makes them more competitive. You can teach accounting but you can’t teach EQ; it must be ingrained over time.”

“The importance of a JP Morgan internship for a student interested in banking cannot be overstated,” says Vice President of Enrollment and Dean of Admissions Bob Murphy, who also heads the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education at HWS. “It’s a game changer. JP Morgan internships are perhaps the most competitive in the banking industry and would not be available to HWS students without John. Not only does John get them in the door, but he continues to mentor and guide their careers once they are there.”

Hogan grew up in Yonkers and Irvington, the eldest of four children. When looking for a college, Hogan knew he wanted a liberal arts education and, he says, “I fell in love with HWS; it was my vibe. Hobart gave me the time to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.”

An economics major, Hogan says he learned important lessons through conversations in the classroom and on the playing field. “It was my first exposure to an environment where you listened and accepted different views, where I understood that the ways that I thought about things weren’t always the most efficient or most effective,” he explains. “I learned how to tackle problems, to discuss them with people who have different backgrounds and very different ideas than me. It prepared me for a career and a family.”

Hogan played baseball for four years under Mike Cragg P’12, now the head football coach for Hobart. “Mike taught me how to leave it all on the field, to work as a team toward a common goal, and to work hard. Those lessons have helped me throughout my professional career.”

In the summer before his senior year, Hogan was hired on the New York Stock Exchange as a runner for a specialist firm trading stocks. “I got hooked on the fast-paced nature and intrigued by the massive amounts of money changing hands in an instant,” he says.

A Career in Risk
Hogan had opportunities to enter finance as a trader or to work in sales or investments. “Risk, though, was just right for me,” he says. “Working in risk in a big bank like JP Morgan means that you get to see the entire geography of the organization. You have to understand operations, legal, accounting, client relations, technology. I followed a currency trader in London who traded the dollar/yen. He knew everything about dollar/yen but he didn’t know much else about how a big bank worked. He was a mile deep and an inch wide and he got a big charge out of that. That was not for me.”

Risk management, Hogan explains, involves understanding all of the ways that things could go wrong, planning for the worst, and hoping for the best. “You have to create your playbook of the worst possible scenarios so that when the storm hits, you’re prepared. If you have to make your playbook during a crisis, it’s too late.”

Hogan’s career has been a series of progressively demanding leadership positions that have required the creation of increasingly complex playbooks, leading him to eventually become the head of risk for all of JP Morgan, serving on the Operating Committee and reporting to JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon.

“Jaime is brutally honest about performance and results,” says Hogan. “There is no sugar coating. He expects you to know what you don’t know, to be curious, to ask questions. He’s the first one in and the last one to leave at night. He leads by example.”

Eric Stein '89

“That also describes John,” says Stein, who heads up investment banking for JP Morgan and who has been a close friend of Hogan’s since their days at Hobart where they were both defensive backs on the football team. “John has never been afraid to tackle the difficult situations. There are multiple examples when John felt a decision was being made that wasn’t in the best interests of the firm. So he got in there and he asked the hard questions, pushed for the greater good, and in doing so, prevailed. He’s fearless.”

The weight of any kind of job in the field of risk can be demanding. “But stress is the price of admission,” Hogan says. “Whether you’re playing in the NFL or working at JP Morgan, you’re at the tip of the flame. It begs a balanced perception of the situation. You have to be thoughtful, to listen to other perspectives, to be disciplined and to make the right calculations. Then you have to make a decision and move on.”

In The Foxhole
The first time George Kokinis ’89 met Hogan, he recalls he knew immediately that he was a natural leader. “He can hold an audience and he is very witty,” says Kokinis, who is senior personnel assistant for the Baltimore Ravens. “We were on the baseball team together. John wasn’t always the most fluid or the most elegant player, but he was absolutely the clutch player. Pressure doesn’t bother him.”

“He is one of the most respected individuals at JP Morgan, and this is the direct result of his consistent hard work, dependability and passion for the industry and the firm,” says William S. Brame ’06, executive director for Institutional Equity Healthcare Trading at JP Morgan. Brame, who first interned with JP Morgan alongside Feane, says Hogan was an incredible mentor who “taught us the importance of honesty, always having a presence, and how to outperform your peers at all times.”

“He’s the most decisive executive I’ve ever seen,” says Jack Matteis, executive director of the Hedge Fund Credit Group at JP Morgan, who has worked with Hogan for more than 25 years. “He inspires confidence that something good will happen and that whatever problems we might be experiencing will be solved. I’ve never seen him flustered. How does that old saying go? He’s the kind of guy you want in the foxhole with you.”

Which is exactly how recent HWS graduates now working at JP Morgan feel.

“John continues to have an enormous impact on my career,” says Adam Green ’12, an analyst at JP Morgan. “His rigorous philosophy with regard to risk management and no-nonsense approach to business have left JPM with the premier risk management franchise on the street. I am enormously grateful for the chance to be a part of it.”

“John taught me that you will not get anywhere in your career or life if you aren’t willing to put the work in,” says Sarah Tarantino ’12, an associate on the Credit Risk Management team at JP Morgan. “You may start a step behind, but if you work harder than the next person, you can be unstoppable. … Every presentation I prepare, every meeting, every piece of work I put together, I ask myself, ‘could I have worked harder on this?’ If the answer is yes, then I put some more time in to making it better. And because of that, that idea that John helped to instill in me, I’ve been able to have a successful start to my career.”

Michael Barlow '11

Michael Garland ’12, an energy derivatives associate at JP Morgan, was similarly encouraged by Hogan. “John’s work ethic has inspired me to get up each day and give it my best, as an honest effort and commitment to an objective carries a tremendous amount of weight in our business,” he says. “Clearly, John’s accomplishments throughout his career are a testament to his integrity and determination.”

In the past 10 years, Murphy estimates that Hogan, along with senior management at JP Morgan, including Stein and Tom Schmidt ’88, have been, “directly responsible for coaching, counseling and securing more than 20 student internships and jobs at JP Morgan, really changing these kids’ lives.”

Catherine Gorman '15

“John opened a door for me that led to an incredible career trajectory,” says Michael Barlow ’11, who works in investment banking in the Technology, Media & Telecom division. “He and Bob Murphy gave me some great advice that I use to this day – ‘be honest and don’t bullshit.’ It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Catherine Gorman ’15, who landed back-to-back summer internships with JP Morgan and was recently hired as an analyst in the firm’s Diversified Industries Group, met Hogan during one of the Colleges’ Finance Experience trips that the Salisbury Center organizes each winter. “He helped me get in touch with different groups for interviews, which led to my internship sophomore year in Asset Management Risk,” she says. “He taught me to be confident in what I know and to be willing to put in the hard work to learn everything I don’t know.”

Dominic Carazza '15

Thanks to Hogan and Stein, Dominic Carazza ’15 also recently landed a full-time position as an analyst on the Diversified Industries desk. “I love everything about this opportunity – the pace, the challenge and the significance,” he explains. Helping to prepare Carazza for the interviews and the rigors of the job were Barlow, Green and Jon Lawless ’13. “The network I accessed … was invaluable as I competed with applicants from bigger schools that financial firms traditionally target.”

“That’s what John has done,” explains Stein. “He’s set the tone for the rest of us at JP Morgan. He’s set forth a path of success for others to follow. When he was in a position to mentor and hire HWS students, he did so and folks like me are now picking up where he left off.”

Hogan says he’s happy to give back. “I have a tremendous affinity for Hobart and William Smith. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I like to give back, to help the school succeed and thrive. It’s very gratifying.”


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