By Ross Kerber
Feb 20 A deal with shareholder activists
outlined by JPMorgan Chase & Co on Thursday will allow
the bank to avoid another battle at its spring shareholder
meeting over whether the firm should have an independent
In exchange for the withdrawal of a shareholder proposal the
bank agreed to develop some type of public event on the criteria
boards should use in setting up the roles of chairman and chief
executive officer, shareholder activists said on Thursday.
In addition, the bank will provide more details of its risk
mitigation efforts, both sides said, leading to the withdrawal
of a related proposal.
"Engagement with shareholders is important and facilitates a
better understanding of governance practices and communications
that promote the best interests of the company and its
shareholders," Lee Raymond, JPMorgan's lead independent
director, said in a statement.
The filers of both resolutions are affiliated with the
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility in New York. Its
vice chairman, Seamus Finn, said the bank was likely looking to
resolve lingering questions over matters such as its $6 billion
"London Whale" trading losses and scrutiny of its mortgage
"I think they decided this may be a way to get the monkey
off their back in terms of restoring the public trust," Finn
said in a telephone interview.
Jamie Dimon holds both the chairman and CEO titles at the
bank. But the dual roles had become a flashpoint and at
JPMorgan's last two annual meetings Dimon faced resolutions that
would have stripped him of the chairman title.
This year activists had sought only to phase in an
independent chairman requirement when the bank seeks its next
CEO eventually. Still the proposal could have led to another
personalized debate over Dimon's management.