UPDATE 1-UK fund adviser favors independent chairman at JPMorgan

Fri May 10, 2013 9:27am EDT

May 10 (Reuters) - A British pension fund adviser has joined the calls for Jamie Dimon, chief executive and chairman of the board of JPMorgan Chase & Co, to surrender the chairmanship.

PIRC, or Pension & Investment Research Consultants, an adviser to funds on shareholder issues, recommended in a report that investors vote against re-electing Dimon and five other JPMorgan directors at the bank's annual meeting on May 21.

The adviser also said shareholders should vote in favor of a resolution calling on the board to have a chairman who is independent from company executives.

The two biggest proxy advisers based in the United States, Institutional Investor Services and Glass Lewis & Co, have also said the bank should have an independent board chairman and some new directors.

The firms said that investigations into JPMorgan's $6.2 billion "London Whale" trading loss show the board needs leadership and improved oversight of management.

The firms' recommendations and the upcoming meeting have put a spotlight on Dimon, 57, who has been widely praised for leading the bank profitably and safely through the financial crisis.

It is not known how many JPMorgan shares are held by British pension funds that use PIRC, said a spokesman for the adviser. PIRC has estimated that it advises funds with combined assets of more than 1.5 trillion pounds ($2.3 trillion).

The JPMorgan board said in the company's proxy statement that its response to the derivatives losses demonstrated the strength of its governance. The company has tightened risk controls, and the board cut Dimon's pay for 2012 in half to $11.5 million.

The board counts 10 directors other than Dimon as independent from management. PIRC said it disagrees because five of those directors have been on the board for more than nine years.

JPMorgan has the second-largest stock market value of U.S. banks, with a market capitalization of $185 billion.