– 12 ICONS OF NEW ORLEANS –
Selected by JPMorgan Chase
THE ICON: Ian Arnof
THE LEGACY: While he’d garnered a reputation for modesty, former First National Bank of Commerce CEO Ian Arnof was a transformative figure whose impact upon the city of New Orleans has been felt far and wide.
Arnof was born and raised in McCrory, Arkansas, a small town where his father helmed a local bank. Following in his father’s footsteps, Arnof found ample success in the banking industry, eventually graduating from Harvard Business School before demonstrating his expertise with First Tennessee Bank in Memphis, Tennessee.
Arnof’s commitment to excellence soon earned him a job at First National Bank of Commerce, a JPMorgan Chase legacy institution, located in New Orleans. It was there that Arnof would eventually ascend to the president/CEO position and spend the rest of his career pushing the bank forward while setting a new standard for the modern banking administrator.
Arnof’s daughter, Paige Arnof-Fenn, fondly recalls her father taking to the city from the moment the family arrived. “He loved New Orleans,” she remarks. “He loved the culture, the food, the music, the drinks, the people. He just embraced it, and people loved him.” Over the years, Arnof’s passion for the city became clear through his active involvement with numerous charities and boards – yet another trait that Arnof-Fenn believes had been passed from one generation to the next. And while his commitment to community was far-ranging, nowhere could it be seen more clearly than in his support for improved educational opportunities through organizations like Teach for America and New Schools for New Orleans.
Known for both this commitment to philanthropy and his unwavering efforts to create an inclusive workplace where each employee felt valued equally, Ian Arnof managed to create a legacy that’s as vibrant as the city of New Orleans itself – and it’s a legacy that city residents are sure to honor for years to come.
THE INSPIRATION: “Whatever my father did was never solely about him. It was always about bringing everybody else along, and tapping into what they could do to contribute.” – Paige Arnof-Fenn