May 19, 2013 4:33 am

Chairman Dimon can count on T Rowe Price support

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Brian Rogers, manager of T Rowe Price’s equity income fund, is flouting convention and will vote against stripping Jamie Dimon of his title as chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co this week.

Whether Mr Dimon retains his dual role as JPMorgan’s chairman and chief executive following the “London Whale” trading fiasco will be decided on Tuesday at the bank’s annual meeting in Tampa, Florida. Mr Dimon’s position is in jeopardy after the bank lost more than $6.2bn in a credit derivatives trading operation orchestrated by its London office in 2012.

Mr Rogers’ support for Mr Dimon comes as a pack of institutional investors, including the New York City pension funds and Hermes Equity Ownership Services, demand Mr Dimon give up his role as chairman to allow the bank to regain credibility with regulators and raise its governance standards.

Leon Kamhi, executive director with Hermes Equity Ownership Services, favours the appointment of an independent chairman at the bank. “An independent chairman is an important first step in reforming a company’s board starting from the top. Recent evidence proves that the board, in its current structure, is not working.”

Mr Rogers controls about 23m shares, or about 0.6 per cent of the group. He said: “I fully support the combined chairman and CEO role at JPMorgan under the superb leadership of Jamie Dimon.”

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