CtW Investment Group has announced plans to file a document with the Securities and Exchange Commission that would press shareholders to vote against reelecting four JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) board of directors: James Crown, Ellen Futter, Laban Jackson, and David Cote. The group, which represents pension funds that together hold approximately 6 million of the financial firm’s shares and is labor organization Change to Win’s advisory arm, also intends to make its request in writing to the shareholders.
CtW believes that these directors can no longer be depended on to deal with oversight failures and blames most of them for poor risk management oversight that they say allowed the trading fiasco to happen. Meantime, JPMorgan is seeking support among its biggest shareholders. It claims that the board isn’t to be blamed for the “London Whale,” which involved its operation in England making risky bets and losing nearly $6 billion in losses.
Meantime, in a report on the global investment banking industry, JPMorgan’s analysts pointed to Goldman Sachs (GS) and Deutsche Bank (DB) as examples of Tier 1 investment banks to stay away from. It described this tier of banks as “un-investable, with their viability in doubt.
JPMorgan’s banking analysts worry that several new, uncoordinated global banking regulation could negatively affect the firm’s future earnings. For example, they expect the average equity return for leading financial firms to drop to 9.6% after 2015.
Also, because of new capital requirements, firms will have to keep more money in reserve in case of possible loss on high-risk trades. Some are worried that a lower investment banking revenue in the wake of the financial crisis will affect financial firms’ bottom lines. How the bonus caps proposed by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act will be put into effect is still not clear.
Some banks have reacted to the regulatory changes that are coming by making their investment banking units smaller and concentrating on areas of the business that are more profitable. However, caution the JPMorgan analysts, shareholders will likely seek higher returns to make up for the greater risks that now exists among the global markets. They believe that banks will have to up their profits to meet shareholder demands, which may require more layoffs, pay cuts, and face calls for offloading high risk trading activities.
If you think your investment losses are due to securities fraud, contact our institutional investment fraud law firm today. We represent both individual and institutional investors, not just in the US, but also clients abroad with securities arbitration claims and lawsuits against firms based domestically. Contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD, LLP today to request your free case assessment.
WSJ Blog: Activists Turn Up the Heat on J.P. Morgan’s Board, The WSJ, April 16, 2013
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