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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

What Future Will Jamie Dimon Choose for JP Morgan?

News summary by MFWire's editors

The next couple of months will be tough for JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon, given the rigors of his cancer treatment and convalescence.

The news, of course, has shaken the financial industry and the press, with coverage from the likes of TheStreet; Wall Street Journal; the Wall Street Journal again; USA Today; NYT's DealBook; the LA Times; Quartz; Forbes; BusinessWeek; Reuters and Fox Business.

We wish Dimon all the best, and he has already displayed plenty of courage and optimism, check out his letter to investors as featured by USA Today.

BusinessInsider reports that he will use his vacation for half of his period of treatment.

This could be a great opportunity for him, as all great leaders have places to which they can escape and make new plans. Who knows how many winning World War II strategies were developed by Winston Churchill when he spent time at Chequers or on the beaches at Madeira?

MFWire is curious as to whether Dimon will devote thought on this simple, but ferocious tough, question: What kind of identity will JP Morgan embrace in the future? Will it stay true to its DNA and focus on its banking, or will it remain a player in asset management?

This is no longer a can Dimon can kick down the road. For one thing, there is the growing discussion of succession, as raised by such publications as International Business Times, and the New York Post.

It appears that there are two prime candidates, each one representing a different direction for JP Morgan: retail head Gordon Smith, and asset-management chief Mary Erdoes.

The person he picks will essentially decide the company's future.

This decision will also decide whether Dimon commits to the idea of further selling off portions of JP Morgan's asset management business including its funds arm. Suffice it to say, this should have a big impact on George Gatch's future as well.

We wish Dimon all the best, some good rest -- and lots of fruitful contemplation.  

Edited by: Tommy Fernandez

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