Jamie Dimon Says Financial Crisis Made Banks Safer
Surveying the chiefs of the largest U.S. banks, Representative Al Green noted a certain similarity in their appearance. The Texas Democrat asked if they think their successors will look any different. None raised a hand.
“All white men and none appears to believe that your successor will be a female or a person of color,” Green said to the panel of chief executive officers testifying before a House committee Wednesday. He expanded the question.
“Is your bank likely to have a female or person of color within the next decade?” asked Green, whose district includes parts of the Houston area.
Five CEOs, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s David Solomon, Citigroup Inc.’s Michael Corbat and Bank of America Corp.’s Brian Moynihan, raised their hands. JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon shook his head, unfolded his hands and looked over at Morgan Stanley’s James Gorman, the only other executive not to raise a hand.
Green didn’t say what he meant by “likely” and moved on to a question about banks and slavery before the CEOs could elaborate on their gestures.
For years, the biggest banks have been under fire for a lack of diversity in leadership positions at their firms. Many have pledged publicly to add more women and minorities to their ranks. The group that came to Washington on Wednesday helped reinforce the perception of white male dominance on Wall Street.
The hearing marked the first time since 2009 that the CEOs of the top U.S. banks testified together before Congress. Lawmakers from the House Financial Services Committee questioned bank executives about income inequality, financial stability and their ties to politically controversial industries.
A JPMorgan spokesman said the board hasn’t yet decided who the company’s next CEO will be, and that Dimon believes the bank could have a female or minority CEO within a decade. Two women -- Mary Erdoes, who leads asset and wealth management, and Chief Financial Officer Marianne Lake -- have been pointed to as strong contenders for the CEO role whenever Dimon steps down. At Morgan Stanley, wealth management co-head Shelley O’Connor has been considered among a number of executives who could eventually succeed Gorman.