• Bank to `aggressively pursue' technologies it's invested in
  • Internal working groups to be given more freedom, Pinto says

JPMorgan Chase & Co. investment bank head Daniel Pinto said internal technology projects, including those focused on blockchain, big data and robotics, will be a “major priority” next year.

The bank will “aggressively pursue the innovative technologies that we have been making investments in,” Pinto said in a year-end memo to employees this week. “Internal working groups have made significant advances this year and will be provided even more freedom to develop market leading platforms in 2016.”

Wall Street firms, looking to cut expenses and fend off upstarts, are investing in technologies that increase automation and ease transactions. Blockchain is the bitcoin-linked software ledger that’s touted as a way to speed up and simplify how financial transactions are recorded. Investment banks that successfully adopt automated trading and other measures can increase profit by 30 percent, McKinsey & Co. said in an October report.

JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank, spends about 8 percent to 9 percent of its revenue annually on technology, Chief Operating Officer Matt Zames has said.

“Being the industry leader means driving change, not following it, which is why we have also been working and investing alongside established technology companies, as well as ambitious, young startups that are looking at a wide range of technological advancements,” Pinto said.

The memo’s contents were reported earlier Thursday by Business Insider.

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