Stephen Lovekin/Getty; Tiffany Rose/Getty; JPMorgan Chase; Shayanne Gal/Business Insider
JPMorgan is the biggest bank in the US and a leading bellwether for the global financial system. So when it comes to the bank’s most senior leaders, and particularly those in position to replace CEO Jamie Dimon, Wall Street pays attention.
Business Insider went out and identified the lender’s 70 or so most important executives. We compiled the list by speaking with current and former employees, competitors, and recruiters, focusing our search on the operating committee and an executive cohort one level down at JPMorgan’s four business units. We decided to avoid most staff in the control or corporate functions, aside from a few key people.
A JPMorgan spokesman declined to comment for this project.
At the top is none other than Dimon, CEO or chairman of the firm since January 2006, roughly 18 months after his Chicago-based lender, Bank One, was purchased by JPMorgan Chase. Dimon enjoys a reputation as the best, or among the best, bankers of his generation – and as Roger Lowenstein wrote in the New York Times Magazine in 2010, the "least hated."
As he’s aged, Dimon has developed a reputation for sidelining CEO challengers. The industry is littered with those thought to be potential successors.
To name just a few: Jes Staley, now the CEO of Barclays; former JPMorgan investment banking co-head Bill Winters, who now runs Standard Chartered; ex-retail banking exec Charles Scharf, the CEO at Bank of New York Mellon after a stint running payments processor Visa; and former co-chief operating officer Frank Bisignano, the president and COO at Fiserv Inc. Matt Zames, another COO and rumored successor, left rather suddenly in 2017.
When asked about his eventual retirement, Dimon has taken to saying he’d like to work for another five years or so. The comment has become a running joke among Wall Street analysts, investors and even JPMorgan execs. But at 63, Dimon is approaching the typical retirement age and there’s talk that his "another five years" might actually be counting down.
Earlier this year, JPMorgan moved longtime CFO and potential short-list successor Marianne Lake to a job running consumer lending. Credit card chief Jennifer Piepszak took Lake’s role as CFO.
The moves were widely interpreted as being part of succession planning, with some wondering if this meant Lake was out of the running or just getting needed operating experience, or if Piepszak was now the favored one. Another strain of thought saw Dimon positioning a replacement for consumer-banking chief Gordon Smith, rumored to be in talks for the top job at Wells Fargo.
Smith is still at JPMorgan and had some wise words in late May around how he thinks about the bank’s broader leadership team, in the context of all the focus on Dimon’s replacement.
"It’s very obvious and understandable why Jamie’s succession is what gets the vast majority of the ink," he said at an investor conference that month. "But what we all worry about is – yes, the CEO – but who are the 15 people or so, plus or minus, that will be on the operating committee of the firm. That will steer it for the next decade, the decades following Jamie’s rolling 5 [years until retirement]? What will be that group of people?"
This list gives you the inside track on identifying that group.
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