Chase Manhattan Corporation
Dina Dublon is chief financial officer, responsible for financial management, acquisitions, corporate treasury and investor relations.
Ms. Dublon joined Chemical's capital markets group as a management trainee in the trading floor in 1981. She has since served in many capacities, including investor relations, planning, and head of asset liability management. In 1989, Ms. Dublon was promoted to senior vice president of Corporate Finance, with responsibility for corporate mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity financings. In 1993, she became a senior banker in the Financial Institutions Division; in 1994, she was named corporate treasurer and, in 1996 following the merger with Chase, she was promoted to executive vice president, Corporate Planning.
Prior to joining Chemical, Ms. Dublon worked at the Harvard Business School and at Bank Hapoalim in Israel.
Ms. Dublon is a director of The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., Hartford, CT and govWorks.com, New York. She serves on Carnegie Mellon's Graduate School of Industrial Administration's Council on Finance and the advisory board of St. John's Graduate School of Business.
Ms. Dublon was born in Brazil. She holds a B.A. in economics and mathematics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and an M.S. from the Graduate School of Industrial Administration at Carnegie Mellon University.
"Today, companies need to have a greater willingness to accept ambiguity," said Dina Dublon, executive vice president and CFO of JP Morgan Chase & Co. to an attentive audience of students and faculty at the Graduate Center on November 8th. "They need to be agile and resilient in order to survive the inevitable ups and downs."
Executive in Residence Dina Dublon meeting with some graduate students.
Throughout the day, Dublon, the featured corporate leader in Lubin's Executive in Residence series for fall 2000, had discussed the often topsy-turvy world of global finance. Earlier, after a luncheon and informal talk with faculty at the Pleasantville Campus, she had lectured to undergraduate students in Financial Management and Organizational Behavior.
Chase's Merger with JP Morgan
When she arrived at the White Plains campus to lecture to graduate students, she spoke at length about a topic much in the news — Chase's merger with J.P. Morgan.
"In the end, we focused on some key components — skill, scope, and clients — and how a merger would benefit us," said Dublon when asked by a student to explain Chase's rationale for the merg e r. "J.P. Morgan was long on products and short on clients. Our company had the opposite problem. We saw Morgan as a strategic fit."
Dublon also said that Chase had long contemplated merging with an investment-banking firm but had wanted to do so in a way that created value in terms of how the two firms could work together. "Chase management is known to be very thoughtful regarding mergers," added Dublon. "[If Chase decides] to merge with a company, the arrangement is much more likely to be a merger of equals. We didn't just want to merge so that we could have another business in our portfolio. We needed to merge with a firm with which we could integrate product capabilities to benefit our customers."
Corporate Responsibility in a Global Environment
Dublon also commented on Chase 's efforts to manage its burgeoning international workforce. "It's often a question of the balance between managing locally and managing globally," said Dublon, who is originally from Brazil. "Do you operate without borders or recognize borders? It's a question of thinking locally and acting locally vs. the benefits of thinking globally, and acting globally. I don't think there is a single answer for all companies. I also think it's crucial that international companies include a diversity of culture s and nationalities at all levels of management."
Pointing out that her concerns about shaping the global business environment extend beyond the traditional, Dublon said she is a firm believer in corporate responsibility. She said that companies have a special obligation to the communities in which they operate. "I think we have to redefine and broaden our understanding of what social responsibility is," Dublon said. "As business people, we have obligations as corporate citizens. Chase has realized this and has given a lot of support to not-for-profit causes. But the business community can do more much. I am very concerned about refugees, for example, particularly given the fact that 80 percent of refugees are women and children. We have an obligation to look at the lack of support for their cause and increase cooperation with NGO's [nongovernmental organizations]."
Making It to the Top
Dublon was asked during her lecture if her gender had in anyway affected her ascent up the corporate ladder. "I have to admit that I spent most of my career not thinking about gender, " replied Dublon casually. "I just went around being competent, accepted the world for what it was, and moved on."
When Dublon started out as a capital markets management trainee on the trading floor of the old Chemical Bank in 1981, she said she was indeed on her own. There were few women in positions of power she could emulate or look to for inspiration. "I wouldn't say the environment was hostile, but there were some interesting moments," recalled Dublon. One particularly awkward moment came when she was carrying her first child. "I walked onto the trading floor and it took about thirty seconds for someone to notice. Then someone else jumped on an intercom and announced 'She is PREGNANT.' I remember hearing lots of dirty jokes after that, but that was the world."
In 1989, after serving in a variety of positions at Chemical, Dublon was promoted to senior vice president of corporate finance, a position in which she directed mergers and acquisitions and debt and equity financing. By 1993, she was promoted to senior banker in the financial institution's division and in 1994 became corporate treasurer. Three years later, following Chemical's merger with Chase, she became executive vice pre sident of corporate planning; and in 1998 became Chase CFO.
As executive vice president and chief financial officer of J.P. Morgan Chase, a position she assumed with the announcement of a planned merger in September 2000, Dublon oversees asset management, acquisitions, and corporate treasury and investor relations. Prior to joining the original Chemical Bank, Dublon worked at the Harvard Business School and Bank Hapoalim in Israel. She holds a B.A. in economics and mathematics from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and an M.S. in accounting and finance from Carnegie Mellon University. Dublon is the director of The Hartford Financial Services Group and govWorks.com, a company that works with the public sector to build Internet - based applications enabling the delivery of government servic es online. She also serves on the advisory board of St. John's Graduate School of Business and on Carnegie Mellon's Graduate School of Industrial Administration's Council on Finance.
James E. Quinn, MBA '80
James E. Quinn is vice chairman of Tiffany & Co., with responsibility for retail, corporate, and direct marketing sales worldwide. Established in 1837, Tiffany & Co. is an internationally-renowned jeweler and specialty retailer with locations in the United States, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
In 1986, Mr. Quinn joined Tiffany & Co. as vice president responsible for corporate sales. He continued to advance within the organization and was promoted to senior vice president of the corporate division in 1990 and to executive vice president in 1992. In 1995 he was named to Tiffany's Board of Directors, and was appointed to his present position in January 1998.
Mr. Quinn earned his BA in communications from Hofstra University and his MBA in financial management from Pace University's Lubin School of Business. An active participant in several business and civic organizations, Mr. Quinn serves on the board of directors of BNY Hamilton Funds, Mutual of America Capital Management, and the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District. He also serves on the advisory committee for the Business Council for the United Nations and the North American Advisory Board for the University College of Dublin. Mr. Quinn is also trustee of the Museum of New York and the Montclair Art Museum.
When an MBA student asked James E. Quinn of Tiffany & Co., "How much has your experience at Pace contributed to your astounding success?" Quinn, a 1980 Lubin MBA graduate, readily offered, "It served as an excellent springboard into the business world." September's Lubin School Executive in Residence James E. Quinn, vice chairman of the international jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co., spent September 28 at the New York City campus addressing both students and faculty regarding various aspects of his education at the Lubin School and his subsequent moves into the world of luxury goods management.
During his Executive in Residence day, James E. Quinn, MBA '80, vice chairman of Tiffany & Co.,met with graduate and undergraduate students on the New York campus.
As a Lubin Executive in Residence, a program that brings senior executives into the Lubin School for a day of lectures on various business topics, James E. Quinn shared a variety of information with students and faculty. His day commenced at a luncheon with a group of faculty, students, and administrators where he spoke informally and answered questions about his introduction into the business world. Quinn then spoke to several undergraduate classes about principles of marketing, business strategy, and managerial concepts. Following the lecture, Quinn held a more intimate meeting with various student leaders within the Lubin School.
After a reception where students and faculty had an opportunity to speak with him personally, Quinn met with several graduate classes to lecture on managerial theory and skills, managerial marketing, and advanced topics in international business.
"In the Stars"
Quinn began his schooling at Hofstra University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism. Soon after graduation, he realized he was grossly unprepared for the business world, so with a wife and young children already sharing his life, he traveled from a full-time job to attend the night school MBA program at Pace University. "I suppose it was in the stars that I should end up at Pace," Quinn candidly told a group of faculty and students at the luncheon held in his honor. He explained that when his father was participating in a community outreach program through the University in 1966, he persuaded his son, still in grade school, to enter an essay contest sponsored by Pace. The young Quinn wrote such a good essay that he received an award.
From Quinn's present success, no one would suspect humble and unsure introductions into the business world. Quinn joined Tiffany & Co. in 1986 as vice president over corporate sales and effectively sprinted up the company ladder. He was promoted to executive vice president in 1992, joined Tiffany's Board of Directors in 1995, and received his present position of vice chairman in 1998. Quinn is indisputably a major player in the success of publicly-held Tiffany & Co., perhaps the most well-known name in fine jewelry.
In an address to undergraduate students titled "Luxury Brand Management in the Age of the Internet," Quinn attributed most of the company's enduring success to its unchanging philosophy. "[Founder Charles] Tiffany had a clear vision of what he wanted it to be&3151;the best." Tiffany & Co. prides itself on its brand equity; "you can't build a brand in ten months," Quinn said, explaining the failures of many jewelry and other dot-com companies, "Tiffany had a name before it had a Web site."
Virtual Window Shopping In 1999
Tiffany & Co. relaunched its Website, www.tiffany.com. According to Quinn, the site is not aimed at establishing a sizable e-commerce market, but rather at reaching new markets and increasing brand awareness. Quinn does not expect a shift from "actual-world" shopping to "virtual-world" shopping. "People want to put on jewelry and see how it feels and fits." He does, however, recognize that 50 percent of the site's visitors have never entered an actual store. "Visitors who come to our Web site stay an average of nine to ten minutes," Quinn cited, comparing that to a 30-second time slot during the Super Bowl, "this is significant exposure." With Tiffany's decision to make itself Internet-accessible, it has gained and maintained the attention of a new market—not an easy task in today's fickle age of immediacy. With its new attention on the Internet, Tiffany & Co. has also invested in www.weddingchannel.com, a registry resource through which brides can combine gift registry lists at multiple stores, including Tiffany & Co., simplifying bridal registry and gift purchasing to a simplifying bridal registry and gift purchasing to a one-step process.
Quinn explained that Tiffany's site has also served to more widely publicize developments in the company, including the recent landmark unveiling of Lucida, a new engagement ring setting at Tiffany & Co. He said that not since 1886 has Tiffany introduced a new ring style. Until now its standard has been a six-prong setting that continues to be the most popular engagement ring design in the world. This time Tiffany is introducing a "more modern look," appealing to a younger customer with the Lucida.
"Vision in Excellence"
According to Quinn, with every development and strategic move, Tiffany & Co. has only strengthened its position in the market, last year landing on The New York Times' list of the "100 Most Powerful Brands in the World." In the 1999 fiscal year, it reported a 25 percent increase in net sales over 1998—illustrating an enduring success in a time when companies emerge and disappear overnight. As Quinn says, "We at Tiffany know what we're good at." The company has certainly built and held its success focusing on precisely that.
With its name recognition, reputation for quality, and "little blue box" notoriety, Tiffany has gained the attention of the general public and leading figures alike. Lady Bird Johnson commissioned a massive china set decorated with wildflowers during her campaign for the beautification of America. And of course who can forget the famous Audrey Hepburn connection, her memorable scene staring into the Tiffany window in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Hepburn later wrote a letter to the company, remarking "class doesn't age." As Quinn stated to the students, Tiffany & Co. has maintained a consistent focus to produce products that transcend generations and are a universally "recognized symbol of quality and a lasting reminder of life's most memorable moments."
So what is the formula for success in today's business world? If you ask Tiffany & Co., it is establishing a meaningful business philosophy and never deviating from it in this age of ten-minute fame. Building a lasting legacy of quality, according to James Quinn, has ensured more success for his company than an overnight stock pick could ever acquire.