Is JPMorgan CEO's Cancer Diagnosis a Concern?


JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon has been diagnosed with throat cancer.  The condition is curable, with radiation and chemotherapy commencing soon at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital.

Notably, the treatment would likely take around eight weeks. For this period, Dimon will continue to run JPMorgan’s operations as usual. However, his travel plans will have to be curtailed.

Following the news on Jul 2, shares of JPMorgan declined nearly 1.4% on Wednesday. Although the news release does not convey anything unsettling, the serious health issues of the successful CEO made investors skeptical.

Moreover, the health scare has rekindled interest in JPMorgan’s succession plan. Despite already having succession plans in place, the news has again initiated a debate about a single person playing a dual role of Chairman and CEO.

Dimon has been at the helm of JPMorgan since 2006, steering the company successfully through the financial crisis. Further, in spite of the company facing endless litigations and probes, the CEO was able to run it profitably.

Consequently, Dimon was rewarded for his work. In 2013, his compensation was raised nearly 74% from the prior year to $20 million. (Read More: Is Pay Hike for JPMorgan CEO Justified?)

Nevertheless, with JPMorgan still facing continued fundamental headwinds from the overall adverse macroeconomic conditions, and probes and lawsuits, we believe this news will slightly add to its woes.

Currently, JPMorgan carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked banks include CVB Financial Corp. (CVBF), Central Pacific Financial Corp. (CPF) and Westfield Financial Inc. (WFD). All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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