Jamie Dimon

CommonWealth REIT, a REIT that has more or less decided to enthusiastically own the title of “worst governed company in America,” did a pretty great thing yesterday:

Following the appeals of activist investors, shareholders of office landlord CommonWealth REIT on Tuesday forced the resignation of a trustee on the company’s board, Joseph Morea, by failing to give him a majority of votes.

The rest of the board didn’t need to look far for a replacement. On Wednesday, the board announced it had voted Morea right back into his old seat.

Morea lost a binding shareholder vote on whether he could keep his job – “CommonWealth’s bylaws require directors to resign if they don’t get a majority” – and the board told the shareholders to go fuck themselves.1

The sense I’m getting is that Jamie Dimon is going to win his can-he-still-be-chairman vote, which I find a little disappointing – not because I want him to stop being chairman, but because the truly Dimonesque move here would be to lose the vote and stay chairman anyway. “Think I’m too unconstrained? I’ll show you unconstrained!” etc. It would fit well with this: Read more »

You wanna play hardball? James Dimon is game. Read more »

Is Jamie Dimon too powerful at JPMorgan? I have a wonderful, simple test in mind, though it may be impracticable; anyway here it is:

  • if a majority of shareholders vote in favor of the nonbinding proposal to strip him of his role as chairman of the board, and
  • he remains chairman of the board, then
  • he’s probably too powerful!

Let’s find out!

Honestly, who cares who cares who cares who cares if JPMorgan’s board has an independent Chairman or just an independent Presiding Director? The board’s job is to keep an eye on Jamie; if it failed to do that then giving it a fancy new title doesn’t seem likely to improve performance. Is it your impression that Jamie Dimon, who apparently rides roughshod over pissant Presiding Directors,1 will nonetheless be meek and subservient when faced with a Chairman?

Discussion about this proposal is confused because some people think that having an independent chairman is a good thing in all circumstances, or at least say they do; CalPERs’s governance czar, for instance, believes that “There’s a fundamental conflict in combining the roles of chairman and C.E.O.” and so CalPERS will vote to split the roles at JPMorgan just as they did last year. Others think that, y’know, it depends on the people. The people here would presumably remain the same though there’s some rumbling that Dimon would take his toys and go home if he couldn’t be chairman too.

Outside of CalPERS, though, the universal-good-governance theory doesn’t seem to move anyone much. Here, if you’re interested, are JPMorgan’s top 20 shareholders: Read more »

As you may have heard, recently some JP Morgan shareholders have been making a lot of noise about their desire to strip Jamie Dimon of his gig as JP Morgan Chairman. Their argument centers largely on last summer’s incident in which one of the bank’s employees lost $6+ billion on a trade. So far the board has rallied behind JD, but until today, we hadn’t what veterans of the business community thought of the matter.

What, for instance, is Ken Langone’s reaction to the idea that Jamie can’t hold down two jobs at the same time? It’s horse shit, is what! Read more »

  • 12 Apr 2013 at 2:48 PM
  • Banks

J.P. Morgan Isn’t Doing This For Fun You Know

Yesterday JPMorgan research released a 328 page report arguing that global tier 1 investment banks were “un-investable,” and today JPMorgan reported record first-quarter earnings of $1.59 per share versus $1.40 consensus, so I guess it sort of looks like there’s a disconnect. But not really? Here are the analysts on banking regulation:

We believe Tier I IBs are un-investable at the moment and the right time to make a switch into Tier I IBs would be if we get more clarity on regulations providing us comfort around the ROE potential of Tier I IBs or we see IBs having to spin-off their businesses leading to capital return to shareholders. We believe Tier I IBs will continue to remain more exposed to the IB regulatory changes as they try to “defend their turf” while Tier II IBs have the option to step back more aggressively.

Jamie Dimon, meanwhile, responded to analyst questions this morning by more or less begging the analysts themselves to call their congresspeople and defend JPMorgan’s turf, arguing that banks are safer than ever, that JPMorgan’s size and scale and universality provides services that clients want and is good for the world, and that “I hope at one point we declare victory and stop eating our young.”1

The analyst report is a fascinating bit of business. The claim is that global investment banking – by which they mean of course FICC trading – will see market share move toward top-tier banks, driven mainly by the commoditization of the FICC business with clearing and greater price transparency around derivatives, as well as higher capital requirements and more complex and Balkanized regulation around trading activities. The result: Read more »

  • 10 Apr 2013 at 6:17 PM

Jamie Dimon Is (Still) Sorry

JP Morgan & Co.’s chairman and chief executive officer, James Dimon, renewed his apologies to shareholders for last year’s multibillion-dollar trading fiasco, and an investor that has pushed for corporate-governance changes at large financial firms said it would focus this proxy season on changing the bank’s board…The 57-year-old Mr. Dimon called the “London Whale” trading losses, which cost the company more than $6 billion and led to the departure of a top aide to the CEO, “a real kick in the teeth” and “the stupidest and most embarrassing situation I have ever been a part of.” Five pages of Mr. Dimon’s 30-page annual letter to shareholders, released Wednesday, outlined “lessons learned” from the incident, which damaged Mr. Dimon’s standing as the best risk manager on Wall Street. [WSJ]

Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase, bought a commercial co-op unit in the base of his Manhattan apartment building for $2.05 million…The sellers of the commercial co-op were listed as Stephen Marks and George Ellis, cardiologists whose practice was located at the address. The unit is one of 11 on the ground floor of the building, located between 93rd and 94th Streets. “They’re professional offices” said Jonathan Miller, president of New York-based appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. “Most of the time it’s a doctor, a psychologist, any type of medical practice. It’s not uncommon for it to be a place to write a book, or just a place to work, or have a private office.” Maintenance is $6,663 a month for the 2,577-square-foot (239-square-meter) unit, which has 12 rooms and two half-baths. [Bloomberg]