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May 26, 2013 7:12 am
The shareholders surveyed by FTfm, who had been fighting to appoint an independent chairman to lead the board, remain upbeat despite their failure to meet their goal.
They said they were animated by Mr Dimon’s announcement that changes to the bank’s corporate governance standards are afoot, with the balance of power and the independence of the board likely to improve. “Investors’ concerns came through clearly,” is how one large institutional shareholder put it.
But the fight to name an independent chairman at the Wall Street bank wages on.
John Liu, the comptroller for New York City, said: “We will continue to call for an independent board chair as a check against excessive executive power.”
Shareholders also welcomed the news that three members of the bank’s risk policy committee – museum director Ellen Futter, James Crown, head of a Chicago-based investment firm, and David Cote, chief executive of Honeywell, the manufacturing group – are likely to lose their jobs in the wake of the “London whale” trading debacle. Each failed to receive more than 60 per cent of the vote for their re-election.
Leon Kamhi, executive director at Hermes Equity Ownership Services, said: “On paper, these guys don’t have the skills and I think clearly a number of investors agreed with that.”
There is momentum behind the move to name an independent chairman at JPMorgan Chase, with close to one-third of shareholders backing a resolution to support such a plan. It was brought by Hermes Equity Ownership Services and a range of state and city pension funds in the US.
Delyth Richards, head of fund research with Kleinwort Benson, added: “From an independence and oversight perspective, we would prefer separate incumbents in the role, not least that a chairman should ultimately be reviewing how effective the chief executive is in his role.”
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