Lester Owens is managing director at JPMorgan, responsible for wholesale banking operations across 25 locations. He manages a global staff of approximately 6,000 employees worldwide, and his primary responsibility is managing one of the largest payment operations globally. Prior to joining JPMorgan in 2007, Owens worked for Deutsche Bank as a managing director responsible for transaction banking operations as well as serving on the executive committee for the Global Transaction Bank. Before joining Deutsche Bank, he was the site director at Citibank in Delaware, which included nationwide receivables, check clearing, and customer investigations.
At JPMorgan, Owens has led major transformation programs, including redesigning the global client service model and implementing a 24X6 “follow the sun” global operating model. He also launched the Investment Bank’s first Innovation program, which allows frontline operators to design and present game-changing ideas that ultimately improve the client experience and reduce operating costs.
A longtime champion for diversity and military veterans programs, Owens has partnered with JPMorgan’s diversity team to hire and retain executives. Since 2012, he has cochaired the Corporate & Investment Bank's Black Leadership Forum. In this role, he has focused on providing career development opportunities to employees at all levels. Outside the bank, Owens is on the board of Futures in Education Foundation, which partners with the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens to raise funds to provide tuition assistance to low-income families. He is also a member of the board of the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital and an active member of his community. He is a past trustee for Long Island University.
Further, Owens is a member of the prestigious Executive Leadership Council (ELC) and the PayCo Board of The Clearing House Payments Company, as well as a board member of the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The ELC is a nonprofit corporation that focuses on ensuring business opportunity for future generations of aspiring black corporate executives and entrepreneurs. Owens is one of three individuals that JPMorgan nominated in 2014 and joins a group of more than 500 current and former black CEOs, board members, and senior executives at Fortune 1,000 companies.
After serving as chair in 2014, Owens continues to sit on the PayCo board and is instrumental in setting strategy and guiding the Clearing House Interbank Payments System (CHIPS) through the changing regulatory environment.
Owens is an outspoken advocate for children’s education, and in 2014 he was selected as an honoree to the Annual Scholarship Fund Dinner in which he has actively been involved for over three years. As an honoree, he played an integral role in raising over 2 million USD, which, in turn, provided over 1,500 scholarships to underprivileged youth in Brooklyn and Queens.
Owens is the recipient of the Harlem YMCA’s Black Achievers award as well as its Elaine Edmonds award in recognition of his humanitarian efforts.