Is Jamie Dimon The ‘Wokest’ CEO on Wall Street?

Adebayo Adeniran
4 min readSep 13, 2021

Are his pronouncements on diversity driven by the zeitgeist or a genuine commitment to change?

Jamie Dimon via Wikimedia Commons

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan chase flew into Britain, last week Tuesday to hold a global town hall meeting at its sprawling offices in Canary Wharf — the world famous financial district area in the city of London. For all those privileged to be at the event, nothing could have prepared them for the extraordinary pronouncements that their boss would go on to make.

But before we delve into the issues that were discussed at the meeting, I should like to give you a bit of background information into the man himself.

Mr. Dimon has been the head honcho of JP Morgan since 2005; This was after the merger of his previous financial house, Bank One and JP Morgan in 2004. It was on his watch that his outfit incurred losses of several billions of dollars executing complex trades. It was also on his watch that his bank accepted $25 billion of government money via the troubled asset relief program (TARP), when it seemed that the global economy might crash. It is, however, pertinent to point out that his establishment was in much better health than the other players who were bailed out in 2008.

But back to last week’s town hall meeting in London.

Our man spoke plainly and powerfully of his company’s execrably poor record on diversity; He pointed to the dearth of Black faces in executive management. To fully underscore this point, Jamie Dimon gave the example of two very senior Black players who left JP Morgan to work at other investment banking organizations.

Upon asking the former employees why they left, they told him that they saw no prospects of advancements even though they were high performers. On putting this point to head of human resources, she entirely concurred with the views expressed by the senior black players and said the reason why they weren’t promoted to MD positions was that they hadn’t managed large teams.

Since then, one has returned to JP Morgan and the CEO announced that he is working on getting the other senior player back to the fold.

According to Jamie Dimon, the conversations conducted with the head of HR and the senior Black employees led to his moment of…

Adebayo Adeniran

A lifelong bibliophile, who seeks to unleash his energy on as many subjects as possible