Meet Ron Gault, the man who helped to steer JP Morgan to success in the 1990s

Stephen Nartey May 11, 2023
In 1993, Ron resigned from an eight-year career in municipals at CS First Boston to take up a job at JP Morgan. Photo credit: Grinnell College

Though he was earning a decent income, businessman and consultant, Ron Gault, felt he needed a more challenging role in his professional progression. In 1993, he resigned from an eight-year career in municipals at CS First Boston to take up a job at JP Morgan. It was a gamble he took because his responsibility was to help the corporation to restore its top place in the public finance market.

What spurred him on and gave him confidence was the trust reposed in him by the board of JP Morgan to get the company back on winning ways. His strategy as the managing director in JP Morgan’s Municipal Finance Group was to use his skill in bringing onboard new clients and providing infrastructure financing for many city, state, and country governments.

He leveraged the contracts and expertise in government and corporate space he built while working with Boston. One of his successes with Boston was to assist them in being part of the five senior managers on financings for New York City, one of the largest debt issuers in the US. However, his task at JP Morgan was at the high end, and many a time appeared unsurmountable to Ron.

He was given a key performance indicator to improve the finances of the Washington, D.C. state. JP Morgan at the time provided financial and investment direction to the federal office. This was coupled with other responsibilities of cutting deals in major cities across the Northeast, south to Florida, and as far west as Colorado. While playing this role, he had an eye for raising a generation of black South African managers as part of his contribution to the African community, according to the free library.

Ron began his career with the Urban League, doing voter education and registration in 1964 before joining USAID in 1964. As a man on a mission, he moved on to Foreign Service in 1965 to work in Vientiane, Laos, even though he had hoped to work at the Francophone Africa program. In that same period, he accepted a job offer at the U.S. Justice Department, where he played the role of a mediator under Ramsey Clark and Roger Wilkins.

From 1969 to 1978, he spent his working career at Ford Foundation after he resigned from the justice department. It was not until 1979, when he took a job as senior advisor to the former mayor of New York City, Ed Koch, that he began considering working on addressing issues focusing on employment. In 1984, he accepted a job to work with 1st Boston Corporation as its managing director and later, moved on to JP Morgan in 1994 to head its Johannesburg, South African branch.

He was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the business development and client relations unit.

Ron was born on December 18, 1940, in Chicago, Illinois, and enrolled in Grinnell College after high school, where he acquired a bachelor’s degree in 1962. He gained admission to the University of Michigan Graduate School of Public Policy and Management, and later went to the Washington University School of Law for his legal education, according to history makers.

He got engaged to former CNN bureau chief for South Africa, Charlayne Hunter-Gault. They relocated to the US after they came under constant attacks and went unaided by the security services.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: May 11, 2023

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