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March 6, 2014

Break Up the Bank? It’s Not for You to Ask

JPMorgan Chase is trying to put its troubles behind it. Having agreed to pay a $13 billion settlement to the government for its past mortgage-lending misdeeds, it wants to move on. At the big ‘Investor Day’ meeting with shareholders last week, Jamie Dimon, its chief executive, and his top lieutenants extolled the bank’s strong and diversified position in its four main businesses. ‘I am so damn proud of this company,’ Mr. Dimon exclaimed.”

“But not so fast. Proxy season is around the corner. And, behind the scenes, a skirmish is flaring over what will be put to an investor vote at the bank’s annual shareholder meeting this spring.”

“Such private battles rage every year in companies across the country, pitting shareholders, who want to hear other owners’ views on topics related to management, against company officials who’d rather not. The Securities and Exchange Commission adjudicates these disputes, deciding which shareholder proposals must be included on a company’s proxy.”

“Among the more interesting proposals this year is from Michael C. Davidson, a tax accountant and individual investor in Portland, Ore., who owns about 300 JPMorgan Chase shares. The S.E.C. hasn’t yet ruled on whether it will require the bank to have shareholders vote on the idea.”
 

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Read full New York Times Business Day article here.

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