InvestmentsPolitics & Money

Checkmate: Jamie Dimon defeats proposal to split his role

A shareholder proposal to split the roles of chairman and CEO at mega bank JPMorgan Chase was defeated Tuesday, allowing Jamie Dimon to hold on to both his titles.

The vote to split the chairman and CEO roles received only 32.2% support, resulting in a conquered proposal, said Stephen Cutler, general counsel of JPMorgan, during the shareholders meeting.

This came as no surprise considering Dimon won the majority of shareholder’s votes to keep him in joint positions during preliminary results.

The votes against the resolution for an independent chairman and CEO reaffirm support for Dimon and the board even as JPMorgan (JPM) continues to battle with issues resulting from the $6 billion trading losses. 

Shares of JPMorgan Chase are up roughly 1.6% to $53.25 Tuesday, and are trading at solid levels.

Last year, a similar proposal to separate both roles won about 40% of the shares. 

JPMorgan has outperformed other banking giants stocks, moving up more than 50% over the past 12 months since the London Whale trading losses first occurred, market experts noted.

Additionally, the banking institution posted record net profit and common equity for 2012, leading to solid financial performance, JPMorgan said.

However, there are various pension funds including CalPers, which voted in favor of splitting the CEO and chairman roles at JPMorgan.

The pension fund also is withholding its votes from director nominees David Cote, James Crown and Ellen Futter because of “failures in risk oversight at the company.”

Each of the nominees are long standing members of the Risk Committee, serving on the board in 2012 when the institution experienced multi-billion dollar trading losses. 

Similarly, a major trade union supported the division of Dimon’s roles.

Lisa Lindsley, director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said both roles are different and deserve to be handled separately.

“This proposal was never intended as a referendum on Mr. Dimon,” she said during the meeting.

Overall, the broader picture at hand is that there is no one who would be able to immediately succeed Dimon’s role, many shareholders pointed out during the session.

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