Investors give full backing to Jamie Dimon

Tim Wallace
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JP MORGAN’S chief executive and chairman Jamie Dimon last night received strong backing from shareholders, easily holding his joint position at the top of the American banking behemoth.

And the chief vowed to stay on for many more years in the top job, reassuring investors.

He had come under fire in the last year in the wake of the London Whale crisis when a bad market position lost the bank more than $6bn (£4bn).

Critics argued the chief holds too much power and the bank needs an independent chairman to keep Dimon in line.

But that motion was defeated at yesterday’s annual general meeting. Just 32.2 per cent of shareholders voted to split the role, down from around 40 per cent at last year’s AGM.

Regulators and some proxy groups wanted the job split, while Dimon himself warned he might leave completely if he was not kept on as chairman.

Dimon is credited with steering the bank successfully through the financial crisis and remained relatively untouched by scandals hitting other banks, until the Whale last year.

But even including that multi-billion dollar hit the bank is performing well with profits of $5.7bn in 2012 up 54 per cent on the year. And it followed up with a record first quarter profit of $6.5bn at the start of this year.

“I am extremely proud of this company, and am proud to work with all of you,” Dimon told staff. “I love coming to work here every day—and hope to be doing it for years to come.”

Meanwhile shareholders reappointed all existing directors, though non-executive Ellen Futter won only 53.1 per cent of the vote.

JP Morgan’s shares jumped 1.4 per cent on the day.

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