Jamie Dimon has cancer. The chief executive of JPMorgan disclosed his condition in a message to shareholders and staff yesterday. Dimon said that he has the disesase in the throat but that it’s confined to the original site and to the lymph nodes on either side. Dimon is to begin a programme of radiation and chemotherapy treatment, but says he’s been given an “excellent” prognosis by his doctors and told that the cancer is curable. Although he won’t travel during the treatment, Dimon says that, “t I will be able to continue to be actively involved in our business, and we will continue to run the company as normal.”
Bloomberg reports that shareholders are entirely supportive of Dimon, although some are asking for clarity on who will step up at JPMorgan during the eight week treatment period. “They have to be very vocal about who’s going to be stepping up,” said one. “They’ve got to be clear with everybody about who that is.” The Financial Times is among many sources to point out that Dimon has either dispensed with or lost obvious investment banking successors like Jes Staley, Bill Winters and Mike Cavanagh. In the absence of strong investment banking replacements for Dimon, the New York Times says that potential successors briefed on Dimon’s illness include Gordon Smith, head of JPMorgan’s consumer bank and Mary Erdoes, head of the asset management business. It suggests that the mere fact that Erdoes and Smith are being mooted as Dimon’s successors reflects the relative decline of JPMorgan’s investment bank.
Cancer Research says that survival rates for early stage throat cancers are typically 70% to 90%. However, the prognosis depends not only the stage of the cancer but how aggressive it is. When cancer is in the lymph nodes, it can be a sign that it has metastasized to other areas, but Dimon said there is no evidence of cancer elsewhere in his body at present. The Wall Street Journal points out that Frank Bisignano, a longtime ally of Dimon’s, was diagnosed with throat cancer several years ago when he was a top executive at JPMorgan. Bisignano left J.P. Morgan last year and is now chief executive of First Data Corp. However, some shareholders sounded concerned: “It’s hard given his profile not to think about Steve Jobs and wonder,” said one. “But from all reports, this is a very different type of cancer, ” that shareholder concluded. We wish Jamie Dimon a full recovery.
Separately, both Google Ventures and the Bank of England seem to be offering some exciting jobs in London. Google’s Venture Capital arm is reportedly opening a London office, for which it already has a few staff. And the Bank of England is reportedly launching a new advanced analytics team and research hub to ‘crunch economic data.’ The Bank has already hired Paul Robinson, former head of FX research at Barclays, and is recruiting for its other positions before July 11th.
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