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JPMorgan's Dimon survives shareholder referendum

May. 22, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Shareholders of JPMorgan Chase voted Tuesday to let Jamie Dimon keep both the chairman and CEO roles, but they signaled that the bank needed better oversight, giving only narrow approval to three of the bank's board members.

It was a mixed verdict in a closely watched test of corporate governance at U.S. companies. Dimon emerged in a stronger position after the proposal to split his roles won just 32 percent of the shareholder vote, less than the 40 percent a similar proposal got last year.

But the tepid support for the three directors came as a rebuke of the bank following a surprise $6 billion trading loss JPMorgan had suffered last year. Prominent shareholder advisory firms had urged JPMorgan shareholders to withhold their support for those directors, who served on the bank's risk policy committee at the time of the loss.

JPMorgan was an unusually strong company to be targeted by shareholder activists. It has been turning in record profits and its stock price is at a 12-year high. Dimon has been widely praised for his astute stewardship of the bank through the 2008 financial crisis, though his reputation has been tarnished since the trading loss, which seems to have caught him flat-footed, came to light.

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