Davos Stars: Jamie Dimon – America’s favourite banker

Jamie Dimon,  CEO of JPMorgan Chase
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase

by Candice Paine

Careers like the one Jamie Dimon has carved out for himself would be hard to imagine if it wasn’t all true. Currently Dimon is chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, America’s biggest bank. He is also known as America’s most charismatic CEO and has the mercurial ability to comment on and heavily influence banking policy by rubbing shoulders with a plethora of stakeholders from US presidents, central bankers to lawmakers as well as his peers in the US banking system.

Dimon has spent time as a board member of the New York Federal Reserve Bank and has a history of shoring up, stabilising and growing financial institutions in the US. He was at the helm of JPMorgan at the nadir of the financial crisis and with acquisitions acquired under his tenure, JPMorgan is now the US’s largest bank.

Having spent his early career at American Express after turning down positions at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers, Dimon is no stranger to controversy. In 1985 then CEO, Sandy Weill and Dimon left American Express. They worked together for the next 13 years and through a series of mergers and acquisitions created in their wake the largest financial services conglomerate in the world, none other than Citigroup. In 1998 Dimon was fired from Citigroup by Weill.

Dimon is slick at taking the heat. He guided JPMorgan through the “London Whale” debacle where the bank came treacherously close to a $6,2bn trading loss in 2012 and various other high-octane situations which have required fancy footwork and quality connections to come back from. Dimon’s positioning at Davos has naturally been to defend the ‘too big to fail’ brigade and he has tirelessly argued against draconian legislation which arguably would make the global financial system safer. While there is always a middle ground in these discussions, it takes a seasoned and knowledgeable pundit to hold up a side. Dimon is most certainly this.

In conjunction with BrightRock, we have taken to sharing the stories from our recently published World Economic Forum starter pack PDF, ‘A Veterans Guide to Surviving Davos’ with you – Follow the link to download the full document.