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JPMorgan board lobbies shareholders over Dimon's jobs

May 17, 2013 at 1:45 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, May 17 (UPI) -- JPMorgan Chase's board of directors urged shareholders to vote against a proposal to split the U.S. bank's top leadership positions into two.

A similar proposal to split the chief executive officer and chairman positions into two job descriptions was defeated at last year's annal shareholder meeting. But the proposal did receive 40 percent of the vote, which was non-binding, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Both jobs are held by James Dimon. He has been widely praised for guiding the bank though the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent economic fallout.

But he has also been criticized for running a bank where failure to monitor trading contributed to losses of about $6.2 billion from a London trading office in 2012.

That loss has rattled through the bank's top managerial offices, resulting in several executive departures.

Dimon has survived, albeit with a cut in his bonus package for the year.

Activist shareholders, however, have been lobbying for shareholders to vote yes on a proposal to break up Dimon's two jobs.

The board of directors has stood behind its top executive. On Thursday, it sent a letter to shareholders urging them to turn down the proposal, the Journal reported.

The final tally will be announced at the bank's annual shareholder meeting on May 21.

The bank's sixth largest shareholder T. Rowe Price Associates, a subsidiary of T. Rowe Price Group, said it would turn down the proposal. The parent firm owns 2.2 percent of JPMorgan Chase, the Journal said.

An official at another large shareholder, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said their votes would go to approval for a job split.

William Daley, President Obama's former chief of staff and a former bank executive, attempted to negotiate a compromise with the public workers federation, but he was told it was too late to make a deal, the Journal said.

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