Friday, May 24, 2013

How Jamie Dimon Kept His Gig

From New York: "....The effort to keep Dimon looked more like a presidential campaign than a normal lobbying effort. Executives divided and conquered: Joe Evangelisti and Kristin Lemkau, two of JPMorgan's top spokespeople, contacted reporters and influential columnists and got messages of support placed in visible spots like Politico's "Morning Money" newsletter; William Daley, a former JPMorgan Chase executive and President Obama's former chief of staff, was tasked with reaching out to union leaders; Sarah Youngwood, the bank's investor relations head, and Marianna Lake, the bank's CFO, were dispatched to make nice with large shareholders and pension funds; and bank execs including Jimmy Lee, the bank's top deal-maker, called top corporate leaders to urge them to support Dimon in their public appearances.

"It became a media battle," the person close to JPMorgan's efforts said. "And then people started coming and saying, 'How can I help?'"

The charm campaign worked, as CEOs and corporate chieftains turned out in droves. TV airwaves filled with gushing hosannas to Dimon's leadership ability, boasts about JPMorgan's record profits last year, and dire warnings about what a Dimon-less JPMorgan might look like. Ken Langone had a fit on Bloomberg TV, saying he was "terrified" of what would happen to the bank if Dimon were to step down. Marc Andreessen called Dimon "one of the great all-time CEOs in the financial services industry." And last week, Rupert Murdoch tweeted, "JPMorgan would be up a creek without Jamie Dimon as Chairman. One of the smartest, toughest guys around. Didn't bend when times got hard."

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