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Gang Green Meets Wall Street


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NY SPORTS MAY 5, 2010 Gang Green Meets Wall Street To Broaden His Horizons, Jets GM Tannenbaum Shadows Bank Executives; Learning 'Methodology'

By KEVIN CLARK and ROBIN SIDEL

New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum thinks NFL teams are too insulated, too resistant to new ideas and too wedded to routines.

So guess what? He's decided to take a field trip.

Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum

In an unusual move for a top executive of one of the city's professional sports teams, Mr. Tannenbaum has scheduled a visit Friday to the New York headquarters of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., the nation's second-largest bank.

Mr. Tannenbaum will meet with chief executive James Dimon and several other senior executives including Mary Erdoes, who runs the bank's wealth-management division, longtime bank dealmaker James B. Lee and Jay Mandelbaum, who is in charge of marketing and strategy.

In an interview this week, Mr. Tannenbaum said the visit is a business trip, not a social call. "I want to see their risk assessment," he said. "When we make a trade, there's certain criteria we have in evaluating it. I want to see theirs." The goal, he added, "is to bring a yellow pad and do a lot of listening and take a copious amount of notes. I'll be doing a lot of listening."

Mr. Tannenbaum's fact-finding mission is part of a larger initiative he's hatched to help the team's top decision-makers broaden their horizons. On the same day, Jets assistant head coach Bill Callahan will shadow Yankees manager Joe Girardi to see what it's like to operate "in a fishbowl" while other Jets employees will shadow storm chasers, police officers and firefighters to learn about everything from crisis management and organization to "prioritizing things," Mr. Tannenbaum said.

The Jets and J.P. Morgan don't have many obvious similarities. In addition to its large Wall Street operation, the bank has a consumer portfolio that includes credit cards and mortgages. While its executives have been occupied in recent years with acquiring Bear Stearns & Cos. and the banking operations of Washington Mutual Inc., Mr. Tannenbaum has been scouring the college-football ranks for the likes of Nebraska offensive lineman Matt Slauson. While Mr. Dimon has testified to Congress about the credit crisis, Mr. Tannenbaum has spent many hours trying to explain the vagaries of the NFL salary cap to the beat writers.

The New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., where the Jets will play beginning this season.

But in the past decade, NFL teams have grown dramatically in size and complexity. According to a study completed last season by Boston Consulting Group, the typical NFL season requires 514,000 hours of labor per team

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