Gordon Gekko's iPad

As a former investment banker turned entrepreneur, my daily dose of Dealbook has been replaced by TechCrunch, GigaOm and Mashable.  Once in a while, I stumble across a headline that connects my past and my present.

Yesterday, I saw one of those headlines:

JP Morgan Gives Bankers iPads in Clear and Present Danger to RIM

This is a big deal for a couple of reasons.  First, Wall Street veterans have literally grown up with RIM’s Blackberry devices.  The original Blackberry 850 ran on two AA batteries and featured enterprise “electronic mail” integration.  In 1998!

It’s fair to assume that many of the early adopters who were analysts and associates in the late 90s are still investment bankers today.  Most of those individuals have used RIM products exclusively starting at the age of 25 through today – at 37.

Wall Street doesn’t change very fast. However, when change occurs, it tends to quickly spread around the follow-the-leader industry, from fashion trends to Mortgage Backed Securities.

Since the iPod / iPhone / App Store revolution, Wall Street analysts have been assigning “Buy” ratings on Apple’s stock.  A decade later, JP Morgan executives have assigned a huge corporate “Buy” rating on Apple’s iPad by way of a big purchase order.

One of the topics we’ve discussed with alumni relations and development professionals is how to best introduce mobile alumni engagement to constituents employed by the Blackberry-heavy (and app light) finance and legal industries. You can bet that everyone from analysts to managing directors at other Wall Street banks and related industries are forwarding around the JP Morgan announcement in hopes that they too will be able to get a taste of the Apple.

Ever True!

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