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Cadwalader Corner Q&A: BNY Mellon's Jason Granet

Jason Granet is the Chief Investment Officer at BNY Mellon, responsible for managing the firm’s securities portfolio as well as BNY Mellon’s LIBOR transition efforts. Prior to joining BNY Mellon in 2021, Jason spent more than 20 years at Goldman Sachs across a variety of leadership roles, including head of Goldman Sachs’ global LIBOR transition.

The Federal Reserve is expected to hike interest rates at its upcoming policy meeting. What do you envision will be the impact of that decision?

Many of the Fed’s significant actions over the last two years were related to the economic impact created by COVID-19. But now we have this inflation backdrop, and the Fed is starting to tighten policy.

As we all know, this is a particularly challenging environment when you consider supply chain issues and the geopolitical conflict in Ukraine. With people now paying upwards of $5 per gallon of gas and with the rising cost of food, typically you would have a Fed policy that makes it easier on people. 

It’s not that simple, though. These global challenges have injected very significant amounts of volatility into the markets. You have some people that think rates are going to go higher in the short term. You have others that think we’re going to go into a recession because Americans are not going to be able to afford heightened costs of living. Therefore, the future state of the world right now and the flow of commodities is very unknown.

How does someone in charge of a large investment portfolio make decisions in this kind of environment?

My approach is to be over-sensitive to your shortcomings and blind spots. You have to be humble and admit that you don’t know everything. Stay with things that you understand and avoid areas where there's a good amount of uncertainty.

What are some of the trends BNY Mellon is most excited for in the future of capital markets?

We’re highly focused on digital transformation and advanced technology: blockchain, AI, and machine learning. We’re building the industry’s first platform that bridges digital asset custody, execution and administration seamlessly with traditional assets.

We also recognize transparency around ESG as a top priority for the financial world. To that end, we’ve launched an innovative cloud-based ESG Data Analytics application.

This is a unique moment in financial history, and we see now as the time to adapt and help guide the next chapter for the financial industry.

Tell us something that we might not know about you.  

Aside from playing pickleball or basketball, I also have a minor LEGO habit that has turned into something very meaningful and special. I’m a trustee of a charity called Fairy Bricks, which donates LEGO sets to hospices and hospitals, brightening the lives of sick children. From humble beginnings and a single hospital donation in 2012, we now aim to deliver LEGO to over 200 hospitals throughout the UK and 26 other countries per year. In fact, we’re finalizing some details now to send nearly 20,000 LEGO sets to refugee families in Europe.

March 10, 2022 | Issue No. 1
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