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]