JPMorgan's latest tech hire is crazy and wonderful

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JPMorgan is still hiring for the Seattle engineering hub where it keeps its cloud security developers. It was already pretty clear that JPM would be chasing Microsoft and Amazon people to work in that office, so it's hardly surprising that the latest hire is pulled from Microsoft. Paul Rich is, however, a bit of a surprise for anyone who thinks that the technologists who join banks are more corporate than the rest.

Rich joined JPM's Seattle office in October according to his LinkedIn profile. He previously spent over two decades at Microsoft, where he was latterly a senior program manager for Azure security. However, it's not Rich's Microsoft experience that makes him special. It's everything else. 

As well as being a cloud security specialist, Rich is a music producer for Seattle indie-pop-rock band Bleachbear. He's also a director and treasurer for Coastal Ecosystems Research Foundation, which studies grey whales and sea turtles among other things. He's a white water raft guide, a self-proclaimed father of four children (who's in the process of building them a playhouse) and a former member of the U.S. navy who once navigated a nuclear attack submarine.

If you want pedestrian, Rich is not it. In his words, his life has been "crazy wonderful," and now he's taken it to JPM.

He's unlikely to be the last to do so. JPMorgan's engineering hub in Seattle is dedicated to cloud security developers. Earlier this year, the firm told Business Insider that it hired 50 cloud-focused engineers in Seattle in 2018 and that it plans to bring on another 50 by the end of 2019.

The H1B salary database (which shows salaries paid to people working on H1B visas) suggests there are some pretty chunky salaries on offer to cloud and security engineers in JPMorgan's Seattle office. In late August, the bank appointed an executive director (the level Rich joined at) in cloud applications and cybersecurity on a salary of $325k. A vice president (VP)-level cloud engineer was hired in May on $170k, while software engineers in cybersecurity were hired in May on $125k. The H1B salary database is not necessarily representative of salary norms and simply reflects pay to people on those particular visas.

Rich doesn't mention the remuneration, but he's pretty enamored of JPMorgan all the same. "I am honored to be a member of such a strong team and a company that I have long admired for an innovative, positive, and diverse culture," he says on LinkedIn. "Day one was energizing, educational, and an example of the great diversity and inclusive culture I'd experienced already as an outsider." It's not just about the pay.

Rich is the latest in a series of 'atypical' hires for banks' technology functions. Last month Goldman Sachs hired Marcus Argenti from Amazon Web Services (AWS) at CIO. Argenti is the lead guitarist in the Seattle-based Alternative Rock band Element47, 

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Photo by Randall Ruiz on Unsplash


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