With preliminary tallies being counted, all early signs point to Jamie Dimon keeping his dual role as CEO and Chairman of the Board at JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM). Today's shareholder meeting started at 10 a.m. EDT, with news outlets calling the vote in Dimon's favor as early as two hours before the meeting commenced. Up 1.2% an hour into trading, the bank is enjoying the positive sentiment the early call has instilled in its investors.
This morning's gains are not out of line with what the bank has seen in the past week, with shares moving higher as investors express confidence in the performance of JPMorgan regardless of the results of today's vote. In the past five days of trading, the bank gained 5.04%, while the KBW Bank Index (INDEX: ^BKX) increased by half during the same period.
"Dimon is forever"
As of this writing, the proposal for the split of the CEO and Chairman roles is being presented to the Board in the shareholder meeting, so the final tally of the vote is yet to come. But in the past few days, there has been growing confidence that Dimon's job titles would not be split, regardless of the vote. Since the vote is non-binding, the board is not required to act on the results of the vote, leaving shareholders with little power other than voicing their opinions.
With letters from some of the directors already showing that there is little support for a split, many investors may view today's vote as moot. But had the tally showed a majority interest in splitting the roles, the board would have had a bigger challenge ahead of it regarding their decision to ignore the interests of the bank's investors.
Some of the other considerations for the board this morning may pass with or without shareholder support, including a reshuffle of the board members' responsibilities. There have been mumblings this morning that a group of directors on the risk management committee may be ousted due to a lack of experience, leading to issues in oversight. Since oversight is the major area in which regulators have called out for JPMorgan to improve, this decision will help the bank move forward from the issues that continue to plague it, giving investors a better perception of the bank's willingness to adjust in order to address weaknesses -- even if Dimon stays in control.
With all of the media attention on the shareholder vote, it may seem like this could be a big moment for JPMorgan, and its investors. But remember that as a long-term investor, the fundamentals are what matter -- and unless you see the success of JPMorgan intrinsically tied to the leadership of Jamie Dimon in both roles, there shouldn't be a lot of excitement over today's news.