May 16 T. Rowe Price Group Inc Chief
Investment Officer Brian Rogers backed keeping JPMorgan Chase &
Co's Jamie Dimon in his dual roles of chairman and chief
executive, offering valuable support from a top shareholder as a
key governance vote at the bank approaches next week.
In an emailed statement on Thursday, Rogers said that "I
fully support the combined chairman and CEO role at J.P. Morgan
under the superb leadership of Jamie Dimon."
"He and his management team have created superior
shareholder value after the company weathered the financial
crisis so capably," said Rogers, a classmate of Dimon at Harvard
The comments mark a rare public stance by a big mutual fund
company. Other top JPMorgan shareholders, including Vanguard
Group Inc, State Street Corp and Fidelity Investments,
so far have declined to comment on how they will vote at
JPMorgan's annual meeting on May 21.
Shareholders will vote on a closely-watched measure urging
Dimon's dual leadership roles be separated as a matter of good
Baltimore asset manager T. Rowe Price owns about 81 million
shares of JPMorgan, making it one of the bank's top ten holders
according to data from Thomson Reuters' Thomson One service.
JPMorgan has 3.8 billion shares outstanding according to its
latest quarterly regulatory filing.
A spokesman for T. Rowe Price said Rogers was speaking only
for the roughly 23 million shares of JPMorgan held in
funds he manages and that other shares will be voted by managers
of other T. Rowe Price funds.
The spokesman said Rogers would not grant interviews or
elaborate on his decision to speak out.
Last year, T. Rowe funds also voted in favor of keeping
Dimon in both jobs.