JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon bets on Silicon Valley with ‘fintech campus’

Tina Hsiao, WePay’s operating chief, said the plan for a new space has been on the books since the deal closed, along with Dimon’s commitment to double the size of WePay’s engineering team.

“This is him planting that flag,” Hsiao said in an interview. “The leaders have said: We’re not tourists, we’re here to stay.”

Dimon visited the current WePay headquarters in April and sat down for a fireside chat with co-founder and CEO Bill Clerico. After that session in front of the entire company, he met with the eight-person executive team. Hsiao said one of Dimon’s key messages to the group of start-up techies was that, while the company takes regulations, security and oversight very seriously, those things don’t have to be burdensome.

“He said don’t let the big bank bog you down, because that’s not the point,” said Hsiao. “He encouraged us to continue to push through and influence them.”

Prior to settling on the old Lockheed Martin campus, J.P. Morgan had pursued a number of other locations, including the former Theranos headquarters, according to two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the negotiations were confidential. Theranos, which shut down in September shortly after CEO Elizabeth Holmes was indicted on fraud charges, put its Stanford Research Park office up for rent last year.

J.P. Morgan said its plans for the new campus include an “innovation hub” and a “modern workplace design with amenities that matter most to employees and state-of-the-art technology to increase collaboration.”

It will be one of two Bay Area locations for J.P. Morgan, along with the company’s office in downtown San Francisco, which is primarily for traditional services like investment banking and wealth management. According to Truebeck Construction, the site developer, the first phase of the project will be a 115,000-square-foot two-story building, followed by a second phase that includes an 80,000-square-foot edifice.

J.P. Morgan declined to comment on whether there will be a second building.

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