JPMorgan's Dimon survives shareholder referendum
Shareholders at JPMorgan Chase will let Jamie Dimon, the chairman and CEO, keep both his jobs. At the bank's annual meeting at its East Tampa headquarters, 32 percent of shareholders voted for a measure that would have required the bank to split the roles. Had the measure succeeded, Dimon would have had to relinquish the role of chairman. Shareholder groups lobbying for the split gained momentum from last year's surprise $6 billion trading loss, which tarnished the reputation of both JPMorgan Chase & Co. and CEO Dimon. The bank and Dimon had argued that letting Dimon keep both jobs was the most effective form of leadership. It's a topic that has turned into a referendum on Dimon, who emerged from the financial crisis heading one of the strongest banks in the country. His reputation has been hurt over the past year over fallout from the so-called "London whale" trading loss, nicknamed for its size and the location of the trader who made the outsized bets on complex debt securities that went wrong. The Tampa site, at the JPMorgan's Highland Oaks Banking Center Branch, is similar to sophisticated processing and client facilities in New York, Massachusetts, England, Singapore and Hong Kong. It hosted the shareholder meeting for the second consecutive year. This meeting had fewer theatrics than last year, which was held just days after the trading loss was disclosed. Last year, two or three dozen protesters showed up, but Tuesday was quieter. One woman with a cardboard sign was spotted, but only briefly. The bank is facing regulatory investigations and lawsuits, not only over the trading loss but other practices including foreclosures and alleged rigging of power prices. Michael Garland from the New York City Comptroller's Office, which supports splitting the roles, said he appreciated that JPMorgan led its peers by certain financial measures. But, he added, "it also leads its peers in regulatory investigations." Lisa Lindsley from the union group AFSCME, which filed the proposal asking to split the jobs, said the bank nee ded "a new tone at the top." She said the proposal was never intended as a referendum against Dimon or a "personality contest," but as a measure for the best risk management.