Blythe Masters

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Blythe Masters
Blythe masters.jpg
Occupation Chief Executive Officer
Employer Digital Asset Holdings, LLC
Location New York, NY
Twitter @blythemasters
LinkedIn Profile
Website www.digitalasset.com

Blythe Masters is the CEO of Digital Asset Holdings, a start-up providing settlement and ledger services (similar to blockchain, Bitcoin’s underlying technology) for both digital and mainstream financial transactions. She joined the company in that role in March 2015.[1] She is also a banker and one of the creators of credit default swaps.

She was named chairwoman of the board of Santander Consumer USA on July 15, 2015[2] but quit that position in July of 2016 to switch to a new role at Santander as a senior adviser on blockchain. She also joined Santander’s international advisory board and became a director of Openbank, its online lender.[3]

She is the former the head of global commodities at JPMorgan Chase & Co. She was named to this position in 2007 and left in 2014 after the commodities unit was acquired by Mercuria.[4][5]

After the 2008 financial crisis, JPMorgan and Masters made ambitious efforts to increase the company's presence in commodities in an environment where intense competition, new regulations, and relatively stable commodities prices were making the business less profitable for big banks.[6]

While she was head of the commodities division, revenues doubled between 2006 and 2009 as she increased the unit's reliance on client revenue over proprietary trading. She frequently represented the company and the industry in Washington on issues ranging from potential curbs on commodities trading to the financial regulatory overhaul.[7]

In spring of 2013, Masters was mentioned in an investigation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission into accusations of illegal trading in the California and Michigan electricity markets. FERC investigators found that JPMorgan had designed trading “schemes” that converted “money-losing power plants into powerful profit centers,” according to a FERC document. The investigators said Masters had made false and misleading statements under oath. JPMorgan strongly defended Masters, saying she had not lied or acted inappropriately. The bank ultimately reached a $410 million settlement with the agency.[8]

In 2012, she took on the additional responsibility of running regulatory affairs for the firm’s corporate and investment bank. She was a member of JP Morgan Chase's executive committee and corporate and investment bank leadership team.

Her responsibilities included structuring and distribution of credit derivative products and related credit risk management strategies, both for JP Morgan and its clients.[9]

In February 2012, Masters became chairman of the Global Financial Markets Association (GFMA), which represents the common interests of the world’s leading financial and capital markets participants.

In February 2014, Masters was invited to join the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission's Global Markets Advisory Committee. [10] However, Masters withdrew from the advisory committee a day after her appointment was disclosed. [11] Democratic lawmakers objected to her participation in the CFTC panel because of her role presiding over a unit accused of manipulating power markets. [12]

She also chairs the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), whose mission is to support a strong financial industry, job creation and economic growth while building trust and confidence in the financial markets.

Masters has been credited with inventing credit default swaps.[13][14]

Background

Born in Oxford, England, Masters started out at JP Morgan in 1991 as an 18-year-old intern on the London commodities desk.[15] She rose quickly through the ranks to become a managing director at age 28, the youngest woman to achieve that status in the firm's history.[16] [17]

From 2004 to 2006, Masters was the chief financial officer of J.P. Morgan's investment bank.

Before that she was J.P Morgan’s head of Global Credit Portfolio, Credit Policy, Strategy and portfolio management.[18]

Education

Masters received a B.A. in economics, with honors, from Trinity College in Cambridge, England.[19]

Other Resources

www.womenworking.com/feature

References

  1. Swaps Pioneer Blythe Masters to Lead Virtual Currency Startup. Bloomberg.
  2. Santander Consumer USA Names Blythe Masters Chairwoman. The New York Times.
  3. Blythe Masters quits as chairwoman of Santander Consumer USA. The Financial Times.
  4. JPMorgan sells physical commodities unit to Mercuria for $3.5 billion. Reuters.
  5. Blythe Masters to Leave JPMorgan. New York Times.
  6. Commodity Chief Blythe Masters to Leave JPMorgan Chase. New York Times Dealbook.
  7. J.P. Morgan Commodities Chief Takes the Heat. The Wall Street Journal.
  8. Commodity Chief Blythe Masters to leave JPMorgan Chase. New York Times Dealbook.
  9. NYC Climate Summit Biographies. NYC Climate Summit.
  10. JPMorgan’s Blythe Masters to Join Swaps Regulator Panel. Bloomberg.
  11. Blythe Masters of JPMorgan Is Said to Decline Advisory Post. The New York Times.
  12. J.P. Morgan's Blythe Masters Withdraws From CFTC Panel. The Wall Street Journal.
  13. Takeaways from SIFMA's annual meeting. Watersonline.
  14. The woman who built financial 'weapon of mass destruction'. The Guardian.
  15. J.P. Morgan Commodities Chief Takes the Heat. The Wall Street Journal.
  16. Blythe Masters, 2004 40 Under 40. Crain's.
  17. Scrutiny Falls on a Pioneer at JPMorgan. The New York Times.
  18. About Us. J.P. Morgan Chase.
  19. Blythe Masters bio. cthedge.org.