Love Means Sometimes Having to Say You’re Sorry


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Expert Perspective by OmniMedia Editorial Board

 expert perspective telescopeTwo articles in Bloomberg caught our attention last week.  The first published on November 7 by Elizabeth Hester (JPMorgan’s Dimon Hires His Father for Bear Stearns Brokerage ) shares that Ted Dimon, Jamie Dimon’s father, “quit Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit yesterday to join his son’s firm… [He] and his five-member broker team will join Bear Stearns Private Client Services, a unit acquired by his son in the March 2008 takeover of the failed investment bank.”  The article quotes Jamie Dimon as saying “So if you are really, really good, call JPMorgan. We’d be happy to hire you.”   Interestingly enough Jamie Dimon was quoted in an October 27th Bloomberg article (JPMorgan’s Dimon Says He Won’t Recruit Rivals’ Staff)  saying he won’t actively recruit the best employees from competitors operating under pay restrictions imposed after federal bailouts (See Grahall blog Reading Between the Lines). 

Clearly there is a difference between recruiting and hiring, but it might be lost on the casual reader or on the banker eager to get out of Citibank or BofA and into JPMorgan. And clearly brokers tend to be a “different breed” of employees, better known as independent entrepreneurs and not “company men”.  Perhaps if he had the chance for a do-over on his earlier comment Mr.  Dimon would qualify his “no recruiting” comment to exclude brokers.

In her article, Hester goes on to say that “Ted Dimon … introduced Jamie to [Sandy] Weill. The two formed a partnership and built Citigroup Inc.”   We wonder if Jamie Dimon read the November 6th Bloomberg article Reed Says ‘I’m Sorry’ for Role in Creating Citigroup  by Bob Ivry that says: “John S. Reed, who helped engineer the merger that created Citigroup Inc., apologized for his role in building a company that has taken $45 billion in direct U.S. aid and said banks that big should be divided into separate parts.”  The article quotes Reed as saying: “I’m sorry…these are people I love and care about. You could imagine emotionally it’s not easy to see what’s happened.” Will Jamie Dimon’s next statement be an apology to Citicorp for his role in the creation of that mega bank, and will he qualify his comments to exclude brokers?
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