Two Candidates Emerge As Top Contenders for Jamie Dimon’s Job

JP Morgan

In light of Jamie Dimon’s unfortunate announcement earlier this week that he will undergo cancer treatment, two top executives are prepared to take over should the chairman and chief executive of J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) be unable to fulfill his duties, the Journal reported.

The article said the 58 years old Dimon, who took over as CEO of the largest U.S. bank by assets in 2005 and chairman in 2006, has been grooming several employees for potential succession. Dimon revealed on Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with throat cancer, but noted  he “will be able to continue to be actively involved in [the firm’s] business, and we will continue to run the company as normal”. JPM shares fell 0.6 percent to $57.20 in AH trading following the firm’s disclosure of Dimon’s diagnosis.

Rafferty Capital Markets analyst Dick Bove said in a report Wednesday Dimon was unlikely to retain his chairman title when he returns after eight weeks of treatment.

“JPMorgan Chase simply cannot present itself to the world as if it were a one-man show,” Bove wrote, adding that Dimon would likely spread more of his daily duties among other executives at the bank.

The top two candidates suitable for taking on bigger roles if an immediate change in the co.’s leadership is necessary are retail head Gordon Smith and asset-management chief Mary Callahan Erdoes.

Erdoes, 46, has been with J.P. Morgan since 1996. Last year her division generated $11.3 billion in revenue and $2 billion in net income, up 14% and 19%, respectively, from 2012. Prior to J.P. Morgan, Erdoes worked in corporate finance at Bankers Trust. She earned a B.S. from Georgetown and M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Gordon Smith, 55, has been JPM’s CEO of Community and Consumer Banking since December 2012. He joined the company in 2007 after working for American Express (AXP) for more than 25 years. He runs Chase retail banking, including credit cards, auto loans, and mortgages. According to WSJ, his division’s net income was $10.7 billion in 2013. Smith graduated from Thunderbird School of Global Management with a Master’s degree in international management.

Other candidates for the top job at JPM include chief operating officer Matt Zames; head of commercial banking Doug Petno; corporate and investment banking head Daniel Pinto; chief financial officer Marianne Lake; and, the bank’s chief risk officer Ashley Bacon, the report said, citing a person familiar with the firm’s succession plan.

Dimon announced in March that he plans to continue as the bank’s chairman and CEO for another five years.

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