Dimon might leave JPMorgan if stripped of chairmanship: WSJ

(REUTERS) - JPMorgan Chase & Co Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon said he may consider leaving the bank where he has held the top post since 2005, if shareholders vote to split his duties, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

Shareholders will vote later this month at an annual meeting in Tampa, Florida, on a non-binding proposal to separate the chairman and chief executive roles after a more than US$6 billion (S$7.43 billion) trading loss last year raised questions about risk oversight.

At first, Mr Dimon said he would not comment publicly on what he would do if the vote went against him, but when pressed he added that the worst-case scenario would be to leave the bank, the newspaper said, citing sources that attended a private meeting at the company's New York headquarters.

Results of the vote will be announced on May 21, but it remains unclear what the board will do if the proposal passes.

Among the investors who attended Monday's meeting, the Journal said, were top 10 shareholders Fidelity Investments and MFS Investment Management, as well as TIAA-CREF Asset Management and Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

Proxy advisory firms Institutional Investors Services and Glass Lewis & Co said that the losing "London Whale" derivatives trades that cost the bank US$6.2 billion last year showed the board had failed in its oversight of JPMorgan executives. The firms also recommended that some board members not be re-elected.

Two ranking JPMorgan Chase directors issued a letter to shareholders on Friday, arguing against recommendations. The letter, signed by presiding director Lee Raymond and corporate governance and nominating committee chairman William Weldon, said the advisory firms focused too narrowly on the trading losses and that the changes would be disruptive and not in shareholders' best interests.

A similar proposal to split the roles garnered the approval of 40 per cent of shareholders last year.

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