November 29, 2011 / 8:38 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-Top JPMorgan bankers hosting Romney fund-raiser

* Investment banker Jimmy Lee sends invitation

* Suggested tab for Waldorf-Astoria event: $2,500

NEW YORK, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Jimmy Lee, a veteran Wall Street investment banker, and three other top executives at JPMorgan Chase & Co are hosting a $2,500-per-person reception for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in two weeks.

Lee, in an e-mail invitation sent on Monday, said he has known Romney for almost all of his Wall Street career and that he made one of the first loans to Romney at Bain Capital, a Boston-based private equity and leveraged buyout firm.

“I am committed to doing all that I can to help his campaign because I also believe he is the strongest challenger to President Obama,” Lee wrote in the e-mail.

The other JPMorgan executives named on the invitation are Frank Bisignano, a top-aide and trouble-shooter to Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, asset management chief Mary Callahan Erdoes, and Mel Martinez, a former U.S. senator from Florida who is a senior executive representing the bank in Florida, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

Another Wall Street veteran, Stephen Schwarzmann, co-founder of private equity firm Blackstone Group LP , is planning a separate fund-raiser for Romney in December, according to a source familiar with the event.

Romney has excelled at raising money from Wall Street, topping every other candidate in the category, including hauling nearly twice as much as President Barack Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The former governor of Massachusetts has raised about $7.5 million this year from firms such as JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and others, compared with about $3.9 million for Obama.

The companies themselves cannot give to candidates, but individual campaign donors list their employer when donating in increments of $200 or more.

JPMorgan’s Dimon is a Democrat. As a member of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Dimon is not allowed to raise funds for candidates, said Joseph Evangelisti, a spokesman for the bank.

The JPMorgan executives were not immediately available for a comment, Evangelisti said.

The reception is to be held at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York on Dec. 14 at 1:45 p.m., according to the invitation.

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