Jamie Dimon Signs 5-Year Extension as Chairman and CEO of JP Morgan

The announcement of an extension raises an interesting dilemma regarding his eventual replacement.

Jamie Dimon, who will turn 62 in March, has agreed to terms to remain in his position for an additional 5 years, as Chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase.

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Amid lingering quandaries regarding his eventual replacement, the decision has now likely taken the focus away from previously front runners Gordon Smith and Daniel Pinto. Mr. Smith, who has been the Head of the Consumer Banking division, is currently 59 years old. Meanwhile, Mr. Pinto is 55 years old, and has been Head of the Corporate and Investment Banking unit for the past 5 years, moving up the chain of command after spending his entire career with JP Morgan.

As the bank would likely desire a long-term replacement, both candidates would likely be removed from contention, if Mr. Dimon remains in his position for the next 5 years. Instead, the bank has announced it has created a new position of Co-President and Co-Chief Operating Officer, which will be occupied by Mr. Smith and Mr. Pinto alike. Last year, Matt Zames left his position as JP Morgan’s COO after 13 years with the bank.

Since Mr. Dimon’s appointment as Chairman and CEO in 2005, the bank’s stock price has more than doubled, from $48.07 to its current level of $116.20, as of this writing. It is understandable that the bank’s board would like to see him extend his stay, and continue to guide the bank toward the future. The fact that Mr. Dimon has signed on for an additional 5 years, dampens rumors that he had been contemplating a move into politics.

Potential Replacements

Mr. Dimon’s replacement will now likely be a candidate currently closer to the age of 50, rather than in the 60-year old range, as a result of the desire to maintain stability in a leader that can provide the bank with longevity at the executive level. Some potential candidates include Doug Petno, currently 52 years old and Head of the Commercial Bank, Mary Erdoes, who is the Head of Wealth and Asset Management division at 50 years of age, and 48 year-old CFO Marianne Lake.

Commenting on the decision to remain with the bank, Mr. Dimon said: “While the Board of Directors and I have agreed that I will continue in my current role for approximately five more years, the promotions we announced today reflect the enormous contributions that Gordon and Daniel have made to the continuing success of our company. Both have proven track records of working successfully across the firm, and both truly possess the capabilities, character and intellect that exemplify great leadership.”

Mr. Dimon’s tenure continues at an interesting time in the global financial sphere. As cryptocurrencies continue to gain global investors’ attention, it will be interesting to see if Mr. Dimon remains firm with his previous remarks on Bitcoin, calling the digital currency a fraud, and likening it to Holland’s 17th century Tulip mania.

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