When wave-making analyst Dick Bove suggested earlier this month that JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon might soon call it quits, he undoubtedly wasn’t aware of a conversation that took place between Dimon and shareholders weeks earlier. JPMorgan’s top man has no intention of leaving the bank anytime soon.
“I’m going nowhere,” the 58-year-old Dimon told a group of investors in late April, adding that he may stay on as chairman and CEO for an additional five years, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The declaration falls on the heels of a trying 18 months for Dimon marred by controversy, billions in fines and a shareholder proposal to strip him of his role as chairman – one that he successfully navigated past. Now, with much of the regulatory scrutiny behind the bank, Dimon appears rejuvenated. He’s “as confident as ever,” one investor told the Journal.
That’s not to say life will be easy moving forward. While shareholders on Tuesday reelected all of the bank’s directors, only 78% of investors approved the bank’s compensation plan, down from 92% a year ago. That’s technically a passing grade for the non-binding vote, but it shows tepid support at best for the bank’s pay practices. Proxy-advisory firm Glass Lewis recently gave JPMorgan a “D’ grade for its pay-for-performance policies, up from an “F” a year ago.
Meanwhile, European regulators on Tuesday accused JPMorgan and two other banks of colluding to manipulate interbank lending rates, known as Euribor. The bank walked away from settlement talks late last year, making the news far from shocking, but it’s still one more negative reality for Dimon. He’ll be there, though, ready to take it on.
Going back to what you know appears to be a new trend in the financial sector. For those who remain tapped into their alumni network, the option of going back to your old stomping ground, usually in a more senior position than when you left, appears the thing to do.
Credit Suisse’s board was considering actions that likely would have cost Chief Executive Brady Dougan his job. Dougan evaded the axe, though, even as the bank agreed to plead guilty to aiding tax evasion and pay $2.6 billion in fines.
Coroners have confirmed that the JPMorgan VP who fell to his death outside of the bank’s London office committed suicide. Gabriel Magee’s boss said in a hearing that he was having difficulties at work in the year before he died.
Goldman Sachs has named Jonathan Strain the co-head of its U.S. real estate finance group. Strain is coming over from JPMorgan. Elsewhere, Ben Pace, Deutsche Bank’s chief investment officer for wealth management in the Americas, is leaving the bank alongside a group of portfolio managers.
UBS has hired 10 managing directors for its investment banking business in New York over the last year. The Swiss bank is still on the lookout for strong FIG bankers in the Americas.
Citigroup plans to hire another 100 people in Ireland. They’re likely looking for people with backgrounds in technology, compliance and operations.
Hedge funder Bill Ackman gave three Columbia Business School students $100,000 for their investment idea. It’s nice to see Ackman in the news for something other than bashing companies and their leaders.
Buzz Around the Office
A bank robbery suspect was arrested outside of a motel in Idaho wearing a t-shirt that said: “It’s all fun and games until the cops show up.” Indeed.
Quote of the Day: “I think it would be a risk with our shareholder’s franchise if we had built big franchises over decades and let them go because the markets haven’t been volatile for the last few quarters.” – Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein on the bank’s decision to continue to invest in fixed income