By Karen Freifeld and David Henry
May 20 JPMorgan Chase & Co, under
pressure from New York officials, gave shareholders information
about an upcoming vote that would increase oversight of Chairman
and Chief Executive Jamie Dimon. But the ballot details may have
come too late for some investors.
The bank's annual meeting is on Tuesday and by far the most
controversial matter up for vote is whether Dimon should retain
his chairman title.
Last week, the company that collects votes from investors,
Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc, stopped telling
shareholders how votes had been cast so far for this and other
measures up for vote at the annual meeting. It was not clear why
Broadridge stopped giving out the information. Investors that
are lobbying other shareholders on proxy proposals use daily
vote tallies to determine how to tailor their campaigns.
According to a source familiar with the situation, New York
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office sent a letter late
Friday to the bank's general counsel, Stephen Cutler, raising
concerns about the cutting off of ballot information to
Staff from Schneiderman's office held two conference calls
with JPMorgan on Saturday, and the bank agreed to tell
Broadridge to provide interim results to investors, the source
Broadridge, however, balked at providing the information,
because it was not sure it had the legal authority to do so, the
source said. But JPMorgan agreed to give the information
directly to the sponsors of ballot measures as long as they
signed a confidentiality agreement, the source added.
Receiving the information at this late stage is of limited
use, said Dieter Waizenegger, executive director of the CtW
Investment Group, which advises pensions that were voting
against the bank in separate measures regarding the re-election
"We were cut off from the tallies during the crucial week
leading up to the meeting," Waizenegger said.
JPMorgan was not immediately available for comment.
Melissa Grace, a spokeswoman for the New York Attorney
General's office, said: "We appreciate that JPMorgan Chase was
responsive to our concerns and has changed course on a decision
that Attorney General Schneiderman believes was ill-advised
under the circumstances."
Broadridge said on Monday that it follows U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission regulations, and there are no rules
requiring that voting information be provided to proponents of
"Given concerns raised by multiple broker clients regarding
the release of this voting, we have stopped releasing voting
information to proponents," it said.