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Jim Wening

Chase exec enjoys helping local businesses expand

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Jim Wening, president of Chase's middle market banking division in San Diego, has this philosophy for both life and business: "Always be in motion."

Wening, who has 17 years of industry experience, joined JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) last year.

He leads a team of senior bankers, underwriters and service professionals.

Wening said the best part about what he gets to do every day is work with local business owners by sharing sound financial advice that allows them to maneuver their businesses on a local, national or international level, helping them expand their business beyond San Diego County's borders.

"[As their banker] you really get to know all their challenges very intimately," Wening said. "The challenge of serving and solving their needs is what attracted me to it.

"I've always enjoyed working with larger businesses — ones that need all the services a bank provides," he added. "A client doesn't [utilize] all those things all the time, but knowing we have it and do it well is the most intriguing part of the firm."

An eight-year resident of San Diego and a St. Louis native, Wening said he knew he wanted to make finance a career.

He said he originally got into commercial banking to learn the ins and outs of private businesses from a CEO's perspective.

Previously, he was market president for the greater San Diego region of U.S. Bank, for six years.

Chase has about 2,700 employees in San Diego, with 99 branches of its banks -- and plans to open more, Wening said.

"I feel very positive about San Diego's future, [because] of our access to international borders, forward-leaning industries and high-tech businesses, [which bodes] well for the community," Wening said.

A typical day for Wening, he said, is keeping up with changing conditions at three levels: "Our client’s, our community and our [banking] industry, then condensing and translating that into a positive client experience."

In economic times both good and bad, "the best thing we can do is keep a steady hand through all economic environments," Wening explained. "We don't get overly aggressive. Everything we do is based on honesty.

"The best advice I've ever been given is, 'Tell the truth quickly [to a client].' It makes for a more trusting relationship, one that's more efficient for both parties."

Wening earned his MBA from Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.

A lifelong golfer and avid swimmer, he said San Diego is his favorite city in which he's lived.

"It's blessed by diversity in its businesses people and environment, Wening said, adding, "It's no surprise it's [referred to as] 'America's Finest City.'"

According to a recent Business Action Online profile, Wening said he enjoys community involvements and serves on the board of several nonprofit organizations, including the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Corporation, The Old Globe, The Century Club Children’s Charities and The Farms Golf Club.

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