Gary Ford

Subject area expert, Facilitator


Meet Gary

What I Contribute to 4iforum

With over 30 years in Information Technology within Financial Services, I have a lot of opinions on how to build great strategies, how to execute successfully, but more importantly, how to learn from failure (and I have had plenty of those).  I am firm believer that continuous lifelong learning is key to personal satisfaction alongside a constant curiosity that frequently asks “Why?”, especially when things don’t go to plan.

Having spent a lot of time creating software solutions, I love both the creativity and analytical logic that is required to develop really good products and services.  But the real artistry comes from how you work, interact, manage, lead and follow people.  I have tried my hand at all of those things and believe the key to great collaboration is to try to uncover your own assumptions and biases, really listen to the people around you and when required, try to lead with humility, empathy and integrity.

I bring a strong understanding of what the world is like for a leader in a large, corporate environment.  What it feels like to be accountable for large strategic and operational dilemmas and how to manage the risks that go alongside that.  Life is about managing risk all the time and the key to great decision making is usually about learning from experience, both your own and those around you.  I have been doing this for long enough to understand how little I know but be willing to share that ignorance and seek knowledge from all sources.

I am a passionate supporter of diversity and inclusion and believe all endeavours should embrace as many different perspectives and lived-experiences as possible.  Everyone should be allowed to bring their real selves to everything they do.  Whilst at JPMorgan, I co-founded their male allies programme for women in technology.

My Background

After graduating from Southampton University with a degree in Chemistry and Mathematics, I accidentally stumbled into a career in technology, starting as a trainee programmer at a medium sized British software house.  Most recently, I spent 24 years at JPMorgan Chase (JPM), a large US financial services organisation with over 270,000 employees, the last 7 years at Managing Director level.

Whilst there, I led a number of strategic programmes across the firm, as well running several large IT service management functions for their Corporate and Investment Bank.  In addition, I was a member of the leadership team for JPMorgan’s Bournemouth campus in the UK, a home to more than 4,000 employees.  As part of this role, I ran a series of initiatives aimed at increasing collaboration, improving employee experiences and enhancing internal and external engagement.

My Family

I live with my wife, Julie, in Hampshire on the edge of the Meon Valley.  We have 2 children, Isabella who is a press officer for the Department of Health and Social Care, and Lily, who is studying theology at university.

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