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JPMorgan board "strongly endorses" dual role for Dimon

JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon speaks about the state of the global economy at a forum hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)
JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon speaks about the state of the global economy at a forum hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)

(Reuters) - The board of directors of JPMorgan Chase & Co said on Friday it "strongly endorses" keeping Jamie Dimon as both their chairman and chief executive of the company.

The comment, contained in the opening pages of the company's proxy filing ahead of its annual meeting on May 21, is a more vigorous affirmation of the same view the panel took last year when it opposed an unsuccessful shareholder proposal to split the roles.

The remark comes even after the board said in January that it had cut Dimon's annual compensation in half for 2012 to $11.5 million after the company lost $6.2 billion on derivatives in the so-called "London Whale" trades.

The board said the "strength and independence" of its oversight had been demonstrated by actions the company took after the trading debacle.

The company has since overhauled its risk controls and replaced some of its top executives.

The new proxy includes a fresh shareholder proposal calling for different people to hold the posts of CEO and chairman. It is similar to last year's proposal which received 40 percent of the vote.

That vote came five days after the company suddenly announced on May 10 that it had a loss of more than $2 billion on derivatives trades. The size of the loss grew afterward and investors learned more details from congressional hearings about how badly the company had handled its investment portfolio.

Proponents of this year's proposal, who include managers of pension funds for New York City employees and for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, have added the derivatives loss as a reason to separate the roles.

The board, as it did last year, said it while it is glad to have Dimon in both roles it has not ruled out separating the posts in the future.

This year's meeting, like last year's, is to be held in a JPMorgan office park in Tampa, Florida.

JPMorgan shares have recovered all of the market value they lost after the derivatives debacle. The stock traded up 0.9 percent on Friday to $48.78 at the close of New York Stock Exchange trading. It was at $40.74 on May 10 before the company admitted it was losing billions of dollars on the trades.

Dimon's total compensation, as presented according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission format, was $18.7 million in 2012, down from $23.1 million in 2011. Company and SEC pay counts can differ with the timing of incentive compensation.

(Reporting by David Henry in New York; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz and Andrew Hay)

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