Executive exodus continues at JPMorgan

In the depths of the financial crisis, Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of US banking giant JPMorgan, and his top lieutenants were hailed as "The Survivors" on a Fortune magazine cover. Today, of the 15 executives featured in that article, only three remain - and one of them has been demoted.

In the depths of the financial crisis, Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of US banking giant JPMorgan, and his top lieutenants were hailed as "The Survivors" on a Fortune magazine cover. Today, of the 15 executives featured in that article, only three remain - and one of them has been demoted.

The most recent exit at the bank - that of the co-chief operating officer, Frank Bisignano - has heightened worries about executive drain and raised fresh questions about who is ready to succeed Mr Dimon one day.

For Mr Dimon, 57, the departure comes at a precarious time, weeks before the results are tallied on a shareholder vote on whether to split the roles of chairman and chief executive. He holds both jobs.

And while people close to the CEO say he is not worried about executive turnover, others wonder if the reshufflings at the top point to a larger problem within the bank.

More changes in the executive suites could distract shareholders from the bank's successes. This month, JPMorgan reported its 12th consecutive quarterly profit, bolstered by strong revenue from investment banking and mortgage-related businesses.

Still, the turnover at the top is a reminder of unfinished business as the bank wrestles with the fallout from a multibillion-dollar trading loss in 2012. Several agencies, including the FBI and US Securities and Exchange Commission, are investigating the losses. The losses, which stemmed from a soured bet on credit derivatives, prompted some of the recent departures.

The trading debacle, however, explains only part of the executive exodus. In January, James Staley, the former head of JPMorgan's investment bank, announced he would leave to join a hedge fund. Executive Todd Maclin ceded his spot on JPMorgan's management committee and moved to Texas, where he is chairman of the consumer and commercial bank.

Matthew Zames becomes the bank's sole chief operating officer, as Mr Bisignano departs to become chief executive of First Data, a payment-processing firm.

The most recent departures put a spotlight on a handful of possible successors to Mr Dimon, including Mr Zames, who joined JPMorgan in 2004 from Credit Suisse.

Another potential successor is Michael J. Cavanagh, who held the chief financial officer post from 2004 to 2010.

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