A group of investors in J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) have filed a shareholder proposal calling for the bank's board of directors to name an independent chairman, splitting the two roles now held by Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon. The proposal will get a vote at the bank's May shareholder meeting.
The proposal was put forward by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, Hermes Fund Managers and the New York City Pension Funds, among others. In a press release issued this morning, the AFSCME said:
The coalition's decision to jointly file the proposal in 2013 reflects mounting investor concerns with the board's oversight in the wake of the London Whale losses, recent regulatory sanctions, and its failure to fully demonstrate that it can manage the size and complexity of its balance sheet. A virtually identical proposal received an impressive 40 percent favorable vote in 2012 after the AFSCME Employees Pension Plan submitted it for the bank's 2012 annual meeting.
In a particularly nasty slap at Dimon, Connecticut's state treasurer said, "It is impossible to imagine how board oversight of the company's affairs will be strengthened while CEO Jamie Dimon leads the very board that is charged with overseeing his own shortcomings." Ouch.
The AFSCME statement and proposal is available here.
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