Fri, Jul 04, 2014 - Page 15 News List

JP Morgan reassures shareholders over CEO’s cancer


One day after JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon revealed a cancer diagnosis, the bank on Wednesday sought to reassure shareholders that it has a succession plan in place.

Shares of the biggest US bank by assets fell 1.1 percent to US$56.96 in midday trade following the disclosure on late Tuesday that Dimon expects approximately eight weeks of radiation and chemotherapy treatment for throat cancer.

Well before Dimon’s diagnosis, “the board had already established a short-term, medium-term and long-term succession plan,” JPMorgan spokesman Joseph Evangelisti said on Wednesday.

The different plans correspond to three, five and 10 years, according to a person familiar with the process.

Dimon’s successor will come from inside JPMorgan, the source said. The short-list of candidates consists of four officials identified after former Dimon deputy Michael Cavanagh in March left JPMorgan for private equity fund Carlyle Group: Mary Erdoes, head of asset management; Marianne Lake, chief financial officer; Daniel Pinto, head of corporate and investment banking and Gordon Smith, head of the consumer bank.

Cavanagh is not considered a candidate to return to JPMorgan, the source said.

Dimon, chief executive since 2006, had previously indicated no plans to retire anytime soon.

On Tuesday, he said his prognosis was “excellent” after the cancer was caught early, and that treatment would not significantly impact his work.

“While the treatment will curtail my travel during this period, I have been advised that I will be able to continue to be actively involved in our business, and we will continue to run the company as normal,” Dimon said in a letter to shareholders and colleagues.

“Our board has been fully briefed and is totally supportive,” he said.

Dimon though has canceled a trip to Europe planned for next week, according to the source.

Dimon has consistently been backed by the board during his tenure as chief executive, including the campaign in May last year to defeat a shareholder resolution to split the chairman and chief executive roles. Dimon currently holds both posts.

He also retained board backing in the embarrassing loss of US$6 billion in trades in London in 2012, and through a wave of investigations and expensive settlements over the bank’s sale of mortgage-backed securities ahead of the financial crisis.

Having pulled in earnings of US$17.9 billion last year on revenues of nearly US$100 billion, JPMorgan, a Dow component, has been hoping to move past those problems.

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