JPMorgan Chase shareholders gather in Tampa - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

JPMorgan Chase shareholders gather in Tampa

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A proposal to split up the roles of chairman of the board and chief executive at the nation's largest bank came up short at a shareholder meeting held in Tampa on Tuesday.

The financial world paid close attention to the event, which lasted a little less than two hours, and was held  with tight security at a Tampa office park for the second year in a row.

A shareholder proposal pitched the idea of splitting up the two roles so the jobs are held by two separate people. The proposal got 32.2 percent of the vote.

"Currently, the CEO Jamie Dimon runs the board and the board is supposed to represent the shareholders and hold management accountable, when in fact the CEO is his own boss," said Lisa Lindsley, director of capital strategies for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, one of the groups making the proposal.

Representatives for those groups who spoke at the shareholder meeting said the proposal was not meant to be a referendum on chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, but instead addressed management accountability.

The company's board of directors recommended a "no" vote on the proposal, saying the performance of JPMorgan Chase under the current structure has been strong and that board actions showed "strong, independent oversight" after a trading incident dubbed the "London Whale" that cost the company $6 billion.

The idea of splitting up the jobs garnered a lower vote than last year, and failed to convince some investors including Steve Novak, who traveled from Chicago for the meeting.

"Even though I've got 300 shares, that's not as much as the guy that had 1,000 shares, but with the kind of money I got, I want somebody to trust and Dimon's the person to trust," he said.

Sarasota resident and shareholder Stephan Dennis also said he voted against the proposal.

"I voted to keep it the way it is," Dennis said. "I think (Dimon's) doing a good job."

Lindsley, the AFSCME representative, said she wasn't surprised the proposal didn't get a majority vote, but "we do think that when a third of shareholders voice support for something, the board ignores it at their peril."

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