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Guy Chiarello
Chief Information Officer
JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Debates rage over whether a bank can be too big to be optimally efficient or competitive (or, of course, to fail). At $2.3 trillion in assets, JP­Morgan Chase & Co. is at the center of those arguments. Its CEO, Jamie Dimon, is an unabashed believer in bigness, and the bank's profitability through and since the crisis — its second-quarter trading loss notwithstanding — seems to bear him out. Fueling that performance, while being fueled by it, is the bank's spending on technology, communications and equipment: up 6 percent last year, to $4.95 billion. "One reason we have been able to get to where we are today is we had fewer constraints during the downturn," says chief information officer Guy Chiarello. Technology and scale were key to New York–based JP­Morgan's ability to absorb the failed Bear Stearns Cos. and Washington Mutual. In its Value for Scale program, JPMorgan is shaving costs and spreading efficiencies across asset management, investment banking, and treasury and securities services. A project at the retail bank, One Chase, is aimed at "understanding the full relationship [to] allow us to serve the customer in a more effective way — creating value for both parties," explains Chiarello, 52, who joined JP­Morgan in 2007 after 23 years with Morgan Stanley. "From an innovation and business-operating-model standpoint, that's a huge shift for us."