It turns out what it takes to run a bank manages $3.8 trillion in assetslike JPMorgan, it’s really quite simple: hard work and care.
The lender’s CEO said, billionaire and Wall Street stalwart Jamie Dimon.
In recent weeks Dimon has faced increased scrutiny about when he will hand over the reins of the bank that recently acquired First Republic—perhaps prompted by news that Morgan Stanley CEO, James Gorman, is set to step down in the next 12 months after more than a decade leading the business.
Dimon said that he has no plans for that exit during the bank investor Relations Day earlier this week, but gave a different answer than his usual answer of “five more years” at the helm.
He said he expects to lead the organization for “three and a half” more years, adding that he knows he can’t keep up his intensity level foreverwhich took up the mantle in 2005.
CEOs can’t expect to “retire in place” he added: “I can’t do this forever, I know that. My intensity is the same. I think if I didn’t have that intensity, I would have to leave.
Dimon also disclosed that the board has a variety of options to choose from as his successor, a prospect they are “very comfortable with.”
But what does it take to fill such esteemed shoes?
The important characteristics
“I think the most important characteristics [are] that you are trusted and respected by people, that you work your ass off, that you give as-t, that you know that you don’t know everything,” Dimon said.
He added great leadership It takes the ability to admit you’re wrong, to explain: “That you’re willing to change direction, you’re willing to go in front of your shareholders and say, ‘We were wrong, we were wrong, we were wrong about that.'”
“My management team knows, I don’t think I’ve ever defended a decision,” Dimon—who oversees more than 240,000 workers—explained. “Just do the right thing going forward, that’s it.
“I don’t care what we did yesterday, and that’s why I’m thinking like that. I can get rid of bad s*** too easily […] because that’s how you can move on in life.”
Unfortunately for anyone watching him step up to the plate, there are also a couple of traits that Dimon likes to look hard to teach.
“If you don’t have grit, you don’t have it. If you don’t have courage, you don’t have anything,” he said.
It’s unclear who Dimon plans to give the top job to, but analysis from New York Times introduced Marianne Lake and Jennifer Piepszak—co-CEOs of the Consumer & Community Banking division—are leading the way.
A game of trust
Dimon also revealed the relationship his successor can expect on the bank’s board—emphasizes the importance of management from the start.
The 67-year-old pointed out that there are no rules in place requiring bank boards to meet without the CEO at least once a year, even when he is present. encouraged previous boards to do so.
The board is encouraged to meet with senior management without the CEO, he added, to avoid being influenced by their boss.
Dimon was also open about the impact of his personality on the business, saying it’s more important for the board to meet with executives when the CEO has strong personality—like hers.
Dimon, who is also chairman of the board of JPMorgan Chaseadded that he was not known for showing gratitude to his direct reports—though he felt it.
Bloomberg reported that Dimon revealed that when he was young he worried that by praising subordinates they would be encouraged to ask for raises, adding that he used profanities to emphasize his feelings.