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JPMorgan shareholders: 'Too much power in one person's hands'

May 15, 2012|By Andrew Tangel
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. shareholders at the company's annual meeting are debating whether chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon should continue to hold both positions.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. shareholders at the company's annual meeting… (Mario Tama / Getty Images )

TAMPA, Fla. — Investors at the JPMorgan shareholder conference are concerned with the bank's recently disclosed $2-billion loss and 12% plunge in their stake in the bank.

"When you are 94 years old, you don’t want to see any of your investments deteriorate in this fashion,” said Helen B., who lives in an assisted living facility south of Tampa and who declined to give her full name.

But some are supportive of a proposal to split the chairman and CEO jobs – Jamie Dimon holds both.

Peter Skillern, executive director of community advocacy group Reinvestment Partners in Durham, N.C., said Dimon should not be chairman, nor should he be on the board of the New York Federal Reserve.

“There’s a conflict of interest. There’s a lack of independent supervision,” Skillern said. “You can’t be your own boss.”

While Dimon has been an “exceptional leader,” "you can’t be your own regulator too,” he said. "That’s too much power in one person’s hands.”

Dimon said that his role on the Fed board was merely advisory, stressing that he had no role in shaping regulation.

Larry Evanoff, 54, a retiree from Tampa, said he was concerned  “about what controls are in place to prevent an incident like this from happening in the future.”

“It seems like the risk management at some level would have brought this to someone’s attention” earlier, he said.

Dimon began his remarks at the meeting by addressing the $2-billion loss with many of the same comments he made to analysts and in an interview on NBC’s "Meet the Press."

He noted that the Chief Investment Office had otherwise been “highly successful” despite flawed, complex and poor decisions resulting in the $2-billion loss.

“This should have never happened,” Dimon said. “No clients were affected. No customers suffered as a result as our mistakes.”


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