At the bank’s annual shareholder meeting in Tampa, Florida last year, 40 percent of the company’s investors voted in favor of splitting up the CEO and Chairman positions. On Tuesday, however, only 32 percent had voted in favor of the move. Dimon had hinted that he would quit the bank altogether in the event that the vote were to be approved.
The news is likely a relief for Dimon, who has come under increasing pressure to answer for a number of problems at the bank. Last summer’s London Whale scandal saw JPM lose $6 billion, an unfathomable sum by the standards of most people, resulting from questionable trading practices that took place under his watch.
While the results can be interpreted as a victory for Dimon, they do not by any means guarantee that business as usual at the nation’s second-largest bank will continue as it has. JPMorgan has been the most successful bank in the wake of the global financial collapse of 2007-2008. From a low of around $15 in early 2009, shares have increased steadily to their current trading price of $53.21.
Measures have been taken to repair the damage to the bank’s image in the wake of the London Whale affair, with Dimon losing half of his pay as a consequence. But the fact that the bank’s executives have made a habit of shirking federal regulators, not to mention the concerns of shareholders, has not digested very well. Nearly one-third of shareholders still want to see him lose one of his jobs, and it is not inconceivable that even those who voted in Dimon’s favor would like to see measurable changes in the way JPM approaches things like risk and transparency.
Indeed, at Tuesday’s meeting, shareholders were urged by proxy advisors Glass Lewis & Co. and Institutional Shareholders Services to vote not only to split up Dimon’s two jobs, but also to remove several of the board of directors’ risk and audit committee’s members.
Shares for JPMorgan were up 1.55 percent on Tuesday to $53.10 on high volume as a result of the news.
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