Addressing his cancer diagnosis for the first time since he disclosed the illness on July 1, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon told reporters and analysts that he “feels great” and intends to work through a treatment of radiation and chemotherapy. He said the cancer has not spread from his throat.
“The board will be fully briefed on my condition, and if they and I feel that it’s necessary to make additional disclosures, we will do that,” Dimon said on one of the conference calls. “But I really do think the next disclosure I’m going to make will be in about seven or eight weeks, when the therapy is over.” He described his condition as “curable.”
Dimon’s comments came ahead of the bank’s quarterly earnings report, which beat estimates. The news sent JPMorgan shares up nearly 4 percent. The stock had fallen as much as 3.5 percent since his July 1 disclosure.
“There’s definitely a Jamie premium in this stock that would come out if the market believed he was going to make a transition,” Marty Mosby, director of bank and equity strategies at broker-dealer Vining Sparks, told Bloomberg News. “With someone as strong as Jamie, the trouble is that everybody else was part of a team who reported to him, and there’s not a clear second-in-command or frontrunner to take over.”
JPMorgan has “an exceptional group of executives,” Dimon said on the call with reporters. “I think that many of them can run a major financial company, and the board feels the same way.” He told analysts that “there’s no change whatsoever” in the bank’s succession planning, and that procedures are in place for managers to find the board’s lead independent director, Lee Raymond, a former chairman and chief executive of Exxon Mobil, if he is unreachable.
Analysts didn’t press Dimon on his health or succession issues other than to wish him well in treatment and recovery.