A Cult of Jamie: Everything You Need To Know About Jamie Dimon

If by any chance you find yourself wondering about who is the current president and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, the answer is Jamie Dimon, one of the most powerful people in finance globally.

Jamie Dimon was born into a stockbroker family in New York City on March 13, 1956. He attended public school and was a good student to get into university but not good enough to be accepted to his top pick options.

Similar to Patrick Dwyer, Jamie Dimon is recognized for being a confident businessman always willing to accomplish his goals no matter the obstacles. He is the type of man who never fears repercussions. He is well-known for helping with the building of Citigroup Inc. (C), leading JPMorgan through the Great Recession and being known for being in charge of one of America’s best-run banks. Thanks to his experience, some may even say that Dimon has earned the right to be as hasty as he wants to be.

Early life

James Dimon grew up moving between a Park Avenue apartment and the suburb of Larchmont in New York State’s wealthy Westchester County. Finance was in his blood and he was the third stockbroker in his family: Dimon’s father and grandfather were also stockbrokers.

He went to Tufts to study economic, where he graduated in 1978. Dimon worked as for a short period as a management consultant before applying and being accepted into Harvard University’s Business School where he would, later on, gain recognition as a star student. It was in Harvard University’s MBA program where he met his wife Judith Kent and was introduced to the banking world.

Before graduation, Dimon’s father passed an essay to his business associate Sandy Weill describing Dimon’s major achievements in the business world as an entrepreneur. Will was back then the President of American Express and was impressed enough with Dimon’s talent to offer him a job claiming that he probably would make less money with him but it would be “fun” and Dimon accepted the offer.

Working with Sandy Weill

For three years in the early 1980s, Dimon worked as Weill’s assistant in American Express, learning more about the banking world with each passing day. In 1985, Weill left American Express and took his pupil with him. Together, Weill and Dimon bought a struggling consumer lending firm called Commercial Credit Company, located in Baltimore.

During almost two decades, Weill and Dimon worked closely with one another, developing a close and paternal relationship. The two of them were an outstanding team, working as a complement to each other, Weill was the man in charge of acquisitions and Dimon was the expert when it came to cutting costs.

In 1996, Dimon was named the chairman and CEO of Smith Barney, a company born from multiple mergers and acquisitions between Commercial Credit Company, Primerica, Smith Barney and Travelers Group. Acquisitions never demeaned, and Salomon Brothers joined the business in 1997. By the end of the 90’s, Dimon was named co-chairman and co-CEO of the then called Salomon Smith Barney Holdings. In 1998, a merger between Travelers and Citicorp took place, resulting in the creation of Citigroup, company that would later on become one of the biggest banking corporations in America.

In time, Dimon became the president of Citigroup, position that he would not hold for long. In November 1998, Dimon was fired from Citigroup, after refusing to accept that he would have to run the company with two others. After this impasse, Dimon and Weill broke business relations.

Jamie Dimon_Chairman and CEO_JPMorgan Chase & Co._american businessman_patrick dwyer merrill lynch
Image courtesy of Fortune Live Media at Flickr.com

Becomes Head of JPMorgan Chase

Dimon left Citigroup with a reported $110 million in company stocks. Thanks to the fortune he had with him, he was able to take his time and find a job that best suited his aspirations. It is not a secret to anyone that on the day he was fired from Citigroup he stated that he was never going to work for anyone else again. Being true to his words, he passed on job proposals from Microsoft Corp., Amazon.com Inc. and Home Depot Inc. before realizing that his real talents laid in banking. For this, in 2000 he accepted to become the chairman and CEO of Bank One, an institution from Chicago struggling with financial difficulties. Dimon started aggressively cutting costs in order to save the bank.

When Dimon became CEO of Bank One, it was the sixth-largest bank in the country and was facing a rough financial crisis. Within four years, and after trimming expenses, the bank’s balance sheets were fixed and looked good enough to investors. In 2004, the bank was purchased by JPMorgan Chase for $58 billion, enhancing the creation of the second largest bank in America with over $1.1 trillion in assets. After the merger, Dimon became the president and CEO of JPMorgan Chase and also a chairman of the board. It was thanks to Dimon’s outstanding performance as a CEO, JP Morgan Chase remained as untouched and profitable company after the 2008 financial crisis.


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