“No one on the outside really knows what’s been going on at the bank,” said Michael Pryce-Jones, the CtW analyst. “Suddenly these things come out and people realize even those on the inside don’t know what’s going on.”
JPMorgan activist shareholders claim the bank is likely to face a challenge by investors this year. In this photo, Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., arrives at an investors meeting at company headquarters in New York on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013.
Two years ago, when CtW Investment Group began asking JPMorgan Chase & Co. to drop several members from its corporate board, Michael Pryce-Jones, a senior analyst at the activist shareholder, admits the effort was a thankless task. Pryce-Jones says other investors tended to meet his group’s proposal with puzzlement, silence or scorn.
“When we tried to do this in 2011, there was zero appetite,” he told The Huffington Post. “Everyone was still seeing Jamie Dimon in a positive light. There was a halo around JPMorgan.”
This year, the response to his campaign has been markedly different, Pryce-Jones said.
“People tell us they’ve actually taken time to look at this board’s composition and they’re dumbstruck,” he said. “People have turned and said to us, ‘We didn’t know it was so bad,’ or, ‘We never realized the board was so inexperienced.’ It’s a regular thing we hear now.”
Pryce-Jones’s experience hardly appears unique. Several activist investors that spoke to The Huffington Post claim JPMorgan’s shareholders have become increasingly restless with the bank’s management over the past year, in light of the seemingly unending media and congressional attention to scandals within the institution. These activist investors, who have sponsored specific reforms of the corporate board structure at JPMorgan, claim 2013 could be the year their challenges to the bank’s management are finally successful.