Greece has talented people; we have big plans for the country: JPMorgan Chase CEO


The chairman and CEO of the world’s largest systemic bank, JPMorgan Chase in an interview with Kathimerini said he is optimistic about Greece as “it has a rational government that makes rational decisions” and he is thrilled Greece has its first startup Viva Wallet, valued over $1 billion which the bank acquired a 49% stake in.

In the interview, Greek American Jamie Dimon referred to Athens-based payments fintech Viva Wallet, noting that "Greece has talented and educated people who could create other such companies."

"Viva has done an amazing job in 23 countries. They have managed to serve stores or groups in different countries with different systems. While we are doing a good job, they have created systems that we still don’t have."

Dimon referred to his Greek heritage for which he is proud of, saying it has always been important to him.

"My mother came from a village outside Sparta. I visited it a few years ago – my parents died five years ago. I had the chance to go with them to our village, Agios Petros.

"I really want to make a toast to my parents, my grandparents, my ancestors. I still remember when I got my first big job, I went to my grandfather and said, “Pappou, you should be proud that the grandson of a Greek immigrant has made it this far.” I still remember his smile and his emotion."

JPMorgan’s global head of wholesale payments, Takis Georgakopoulos, said in a separate interview that the hub will deal with three issues: cryptography, distributed ledger technology (DLT), artificial intelligence and machine learning related to payment systems.

“These are three areas in which JP Morgan is a leader among banks,” he said. The hub will be created in 2022, once the company has found “the right person to set it up and run it.”

Georgakopoulos said choosing Greece for the installation of a hub, as well as the acquisition of Viva, was not influenced by his or Dimon’s descent.

“Finding scientists who have this specialization is difficult. Hiring such people in Silicon Valley is almost impossible. We have been thinking about Greece for two years.”