James Dimon

The JPMorgan Chase Meeting: No Gnus is Good Gnus?

jamiedimon1.jpegWell, that was kind of anticlimactic. After a big buildup this week—and rumors that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon might announce a big acquisition and talke of a possible merger with Bear Stearns—the big news out of yesterday’s meeting with shareholders was that there is no big news. Organic growth. More investment bankers. More traders, especially energy traders. Regional acquisitions in BRIC-type countries, especially Russia and Brazil. Yadda, yadda, yadda, as they used to say.
J.P. Morgan Shuns Dealmaking for Growth, for Now [DealBook]JPMorgan Will Expand Investment Bank, Hire Traders [Bloomberg]
JPMorgan chairman says ‘acquisition capable’ [Reuters]

  • 05 Mar 2007 at 11:34 AM
  • Banks

The Dimon Plan: T-Minus One Day

jamiedimon1.jpeg Can you feel the electricity in the air? No? Neither can we. But if you were a major investor in JP Morgan Chase, you might at least feel twinges of anticipation for tomorrow’s big event: Jamie Dimon confronts the shareholders.
From today’s “Heard on the Street” column:

James Dimon will start a new phase of his career at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. when he stands before a roomful of shareholders tomorrow. After 2½ years of slashing costs and plowing money into key businesses, J.P. Morgan’s top executive must convince investors that those efforts can pump up revenue growth and profitability in everything from retail branches to bond trading. Investors are also likely to question him on the possibility of acquisitions, an issue Mr. Dimon, 50 years old, addressed at the end of January.
Mr. Dimon is well aware of the longstanding criticism that the bank hasn’t shown consistent internal growth. The pressure to do so comes amid tougher conditions this year in the banking industry, where profits are likely to be hurt by weakening credit quality, fierce competition for deposits and loans and a difficult interest-rate environment.
Tomorrow, Mr. Dimon and the top bosses of the bank’s key businesses are expected to provide some fresh details about how they plan to fatten the bank’s bottom line. They might fine-tune some targets for the bank’s operations but aren’t expected to disclose any big new strategies for the bank.
It will be J.P. Morgan’s first daylong meeting with investors since Mr. Dimon, who was named chief executive officer of J.P. Morgan last year, also became chairman after the recent retirement of William Harrison.

Questions most likely to be asked: what’s up with all this talk of a big new acquisition? Are you really going to buy Bear Stearns?
Question unlikely to be asked: how pumped are you to see all this trouble at Citigroup? Sex scandals? High level resignations? Corporate intrigue and executive reshuffling? Is this the bestest time ever or what?

New Stage Awaits J.P. Morgan’s Dimon
[Wall Street Journal]

More from the Rumor Mill: Dimon Speculation

jd.jpgIt’s widely known that Jamie Dimon’s been jonesing for a big acquisition for some time and, according to our semi-credible sources’ quasi-credible sources, Bear Stearns might just be the fix. While there’s been some whispering on the Street that Dimon could be eyeing Washington Mutual Inc., we’re told that Bear’s issued a firm-wide hiring freeze as a result of Dimon’s imminent shopping spree and Bear’s overtures. Know something we don’t? You can find us in our usual haunts. On a related note, Carney and I watched Heathers three times this weekend. (His idea).

  • 07 Nov 2006 at 11:08 AM
  • Citicorp

The Wound The Financial Press Will Never Let Heal: Jamie & Sandy

Has there been a news story about JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon in the last year that hasn’t mentioned his famous falling out with his mentor Sanford Weill? Dimon gets the CEO slot, and it’s all about getting fired by Weill. Dimon is “expected” to get the chairman of the board seat? Yep, more about Sandy. Now the members are voting him onto the board of directors at the the Federal Reserve, and sure enough it’s mostly about the famous break-up.
How is Dimon ever expected to move on if everyone keeps bringing up his ex?

Jamie Dimon may end up succeeding Sanford Weill after all — at the New York Federal Reserve.
Eight years after Weill fired Dimon, his heir-apparent at Citigroup Inc., Dimon is slated to replace his former mentor as a director at the Fed’s New York branch. Dimon, 50, is now chief executive officer of rival JPMorgan Chase & Co. Weill, 73, retired in April as chairman of Citigroup, the biggest U.S. bank. His term as a Fed director ends Dec. 31.
The Fed’s members began casting their votes yesterday for Dimon and PepsiCo Inc. CEO Indra Nooyi, who’s seeking reelection. Citigroup and JPMorgan, the third-biggest U.S. lender by assets, are members of the New York Fed, which helps supervise the industry and set monetary policy.
Dimon worked alongside Weill for 16 years, beginning as his assistant at American Express Co. The two native New Yorkers shared a knack for making profitable acquisitions and slashing expenses. Their working relationship ended when Weill ousted Dimon following a series of personal and policy disputes.

JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon Nominated to Replace Weill at NY Fed [Bloomberg]

Yeah. He’s still going to be running JPMorgan Chase when all is said and done but its got to be a headache to have to deal with another SEC investigation. This time it’s JPMorgan’s relationship with the Bysis group that’s caught the SEC’s attention. Bisys is the mutual fund administrator that’s paid millions in fines to the regulators. As it turns out, a fund owned by Bank One was mixed up with them, and JP Morgan inherited the problem when it picked up Bank One.
SEC investigation turns to J.P. Morgan Chase [New York TImes]

Jamie Dimon Up 47%; JPMorgan Up 1.7%

DIMON.jpgWe’ve said before that Jamie Dimon has a bit of a “story” problem (as in, nothing’s happening and he doesn’t have one) but you could generally rest assured that he was off cutting costs somewhere because, well, that’s what he does. But now it appears that JPMorgan’s cost-cutting back (as in, Dimon’s pay):

Executive pay has been a sensitive topic at JP Morgan, which awarded Chairman William Harrison and Chief Executive Jamie Dimon $22.3 million in compensation in 2005, representing increases of 39 percent and 47 percent from the year before. By comparison, JP Morgan’s stock gained 1.7 percent in the period.

JPMorgan Investors Back Resolution It Opposed [Reuters]
Related: Jamie Dimon: Is There Any There There?

What Would Jamie Buy?

images-1.jpgWe were just perusing the Vault.com IB message boards and buried under the pile of questions about internships, SAT scores and whether one can get a job at Carlyle as a managing director straight out of high school if one “knows someone” is a fairly extensive back-and-forth about what JPMorgan’s next acquisition will be. The guesses revolve mostly around retail expansion, though someone throws in the Morgan Stanley canard for good measure.
Some of the names floated:
SunTrust (the usual name floated)
Wachovia (ditto)
USB (west coast expansion is attractive, but Grundhofers probably wouldn’t sell)
PNC (nice east coast footprint but not a big enough deal for Dimon’s ego),
Wells Fargo (deposit limit problems)
Washington Mutual (possible deposit limit problems, S&L component that complicates things)
Someone points out that Dimon’s ostensible financial superstore strategy is exactly what Citi seems to be moving away from (see Legg Mason), which is ironic, unless Dimon’s logic is that he can do Citi better than Citi does Citi. All we know is that Dimon doesn’t have much of a story right now and he needs one. (And we need more material, so we’re secretly hoping for that dark horse MS merger.)

Jamie Dimon: Is There Any There There?

DIMON.jpgBloomberg notes that Jamie Dimon and Chuck Prince aren’t doing so good vis-a-vis Sandy Weill’s historic performance:

Citigroup shares barely budged since Prince succeeded Weill as chief executive officer in October 2003, the second-worst return among the Philadelphia KBW Bank Index’s 24 members in that period. Dimon also trails his peers. JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s stock is up 8 percent since he joined the bank as president in July 2004, compared with the KBW index’s 10 percent advance.

So which is more painful: failing to live up to your predecessor, with whom you had a fairly amicable relationship, or failing to live up to your former mentor/father figure, who functionally exiled you to Ohio after you failed to hire his daughter? We’d say the latter. But at this point, what can Jamie Dimon do to pull JPMorgan out of the doldrums? Nothing’s happening right now, unless you count the asset swap with BONY. Dimon doesn’t really have a good story. (Does attempting to do Citi better than Citi does Citi really count as “strategy”?) So what does Dimon do?
Option A: More retail expansion, focus on systems problems and cost-cutting.
Why Not: Eh, boring. Expansion would have to be selective and under the fed deposit limits, which rules out anything big and splashy unless Dimon goes shopping overseas. Then you have more systems problems. And Dimon will inevitably cut costs but doesn’t like his reputation as such, so that’ll be downplayed.
Option B: Merge with Morgan Stanley.
Why Not: Not. Gonna. Happen. But we mention it because we’d enjoy the Mack/Dimon turf war. Who could push who out faster and harder?
Option C: Insider Trading!!
Why Not: Because Dimon would have to start now on the indie film foreshadowing his future insider trading activity and cost-cutting has eliminated those little red pens you need to do storyboarding.
Option D: Have Jimmy Lee repeatedly assert to the press that Jamie Dimon is a “rock star.”
Why Not: Already did that. The stock stayed put.
Any other suggestions? Send to tips AT dealbreaker.com
Citi’s Prince; JPMorgan’s Dimon Struggle to Meet Weill’s Record [Bloomberg]