Nikhil Kumar: Getting on the scent of a bank mystery

Splitting Jamie Dimon’s role might make his reign longer, with an extra set of eyes at the top to cut mistakes

US Outlook Does anyone know what cologne Jamie Dimon wears? Answers on a postcard please, because it must possess some magical properties, including one that makes everyone blind to your shortcomings, while at the very same time accentuating your strengths. Or maybe it just has this effect on the people who sit alongside Mr Dimon in the boardroom at JPMorgan, the bank he leads as chief executive. How else does one explain the proxy filing by the company last month, in which its board strongly endorsed Mr Dimon's dual role as chairman and chief executive of the giant bank?

Earlier in the year, the board cut Mr Dimon's annual pay because of the more than $6bn (£4bn) the business lost as a result of the London Whale trading debacle in early 2012. And before the filing, there was the damaging 300-page US Senate report which, while also blaming regulators, took aim at the bank. In his opening statement at a March hearing on the trades, Senator Carl Levin said the report "demonstrated in detail" that "JPMorgan executives ignored a series of alarms that went off" as the chief investment office, the unit at the centre of the issues, "breached one risk limit after another".

Now, no matter how you play it, one thing is clear. Mr Dimon, as the boss, was responsible as the buck ultimately stopped with him.

And so docking part of his pay was a good move. But it's not enough. And if the board doesn't want to get rid of him, they should at least consider splitting his role, if for nothing else than increasing oversight. How can than hurt? Yes, it will constrain Mr Dimon's power. But it might make his reign longer-lasting, for it would introduce an additional set of eyes at the top, thus reducing the risk of mistakes going unnoticed. JPMorgan was a very big bank that, under Mr Dimon's guidance, has become bigger still. It's time that it also expanded its top team.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?