What You Need to Know
- A recent leadership overhaul has pushed two women toward the front of the field: Marianne Lake and Jennifer Piepszak.
- Lake, 51 and familiar to the bank’s investors as its former CFO, has long been seen as a potential successor.
- Piepszak, also 51, is set to lead consumer and business banking, as well as wealth management.
The race to the financial world’s most prized throne — Jamie Dimon’s perch atop JPMorgan Chase & Co. — is drawing closer to its long-awaited conclusion.
When the largest U.S. bank last shook up its leadership two years ago, about a half-dozen names appeared on lists of Dimon’s potential heirs. But another overhaul announced Tuesday pushed two women toward the front of the field: Marianne Lake and Jennifer Piepszak.
The bank named them co-heads of its massive consumer and community banking business, a spot that was held by one of Dimon’s two lieutenants, co-President Gordon Smith, who’s retiring at the end of the year.
The remaining co-president, Daniel Pinto, is widely seen as the obvious replacement for Dimon in an emergency, but as a less likely candidate in a slow and orderly handoff to the next generation.
The bank’s board has asked Dimon to remain in his role for a significant number of years, JPMorgan spokesman Joe Evangelisti said Tuesday.
“This time does feel different,” said Wells Fargo & Co. analyst Mike Mayo of the promotions. “One of the new two heads of consumer is likely the ultimate next CEO of JPMorgan.”
Nobody in global banking is more prominent than Dimon, who was instrumental in building two Wall Street powerhouses — Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan — and has served as the industry’s voice since navigating the 2008 financial crisis and setting profit records.
Since taking the helm of JPMorgan at the end of 2005, he has disappointed many would-be heirs by making a running joke out of periodically announcing plans to stay another five years. Even now, at 65, he hasn’t said what year he might step down.
Lake, 51 and familiar to the bank’s investors as its former chief financial officer, has long been seen as a potential successor. She got a crack at running a major business line in 2019 when Dimon put her in charge of consumer lending, a group of businesses that generate about a fourth of the company’s revenue.
Piepszak, also 51, has been charting a relatively rapid ascent, raising her profile with shareholders when she succeeded Lake as finance chief two years ago and joined the bank’s operating committee.
She previously led JPMorgan’s credit-card business for two years and earlier oversaw financing operations for the mortgage business during a period in which it faced a host of crisis-era settlements with regulators. She came up through JPMorgan’s investment-banking operations and jumped to the consumer business in 2010.
More Details on Lake
Lake is “extremely well-known to investors, and now she has even more business-line experience, so she has to be considered a frontrunner,” said Mayo. But Piepszak “is a person on the move too.”