A firm you have probably never heard of, which does a job you probably didn’t think was necessary, may have just boosted J.P. Morgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon’s chances of holding on to his role of chairman.
New York-based Broadridge has, what is on the surface, a rather minor role in proxy decisions. It tallies up votes as they come in and passes the information on to the firm in question as well as to the shareholders who sponsored the proposal. For all intents and purposes, Broadridge is a scoreboard. The problem is the power just went out on the visitor’s side of the ledger.
With only a handful of days left until the non-binding vote on Dimon’s fate as chairman, Broadridge stopped providing updated tabulations to the proxy sponsors, according to the New York Times. Wall Street’s chief lobby group, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), which represents companies like J.P. Morgan, asked Broadridge to cut the information flow to the sponsors, something senior executive Lyell Dampeer said he was “contractually obligated” to do, according to the Times.
So the sponsors are now blind to the score, leaving them unsure of how to shape their campaign strategy, and more than a bit angry. There’s still plenty left to be fighting for; only around 40% of the vote is in. A crafty move by J.P. Morgan and SIFMA to say the least. If nothing else, it shows how seriously J.P. Morgan – and all of Wall Street really – is taking the vote.
If Dimon goes down, just imagine how other CEOs who simultaneously hold chairman roles will feel. They likely didn’t just lead their firm to a record year in terms of profit, as Dimon just did.
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