Magazine article American Banker


Magazine article American Banker


Article excerpt

Into the Sunset

If Bill Harrison is sad about his upcoming retirement as the chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co. after a 40-year career in banking, he isn't letting on.

In an interview last week as he prepared to pass the baton Dec. 31, he said his overriding feeling is "just a sense of satisfaction." However, "you are amazed how quickly 40 years have passed, how much has happened."

Mr. Harrison, 63, will hand the chairman's title Jan. 1 to Jamie Dimon, who succeeded him a year earlier as the New York company's CEO.

When asked how he is celebrating the milestone, Mr. Harrison said, "We'll have a big party in January, when everybody gets back from the holidays."

This month he celebrated with a "more intimate group" of board members, top executives, and their spouses, along with Walter Shipley, the former head of Chase Manhattan Corp., whom Mr. Harrison succeeded as the CEO in 1999 and the chairman in January 2000. (Chase acquired J.P. Morgan & Co. in December 2000.)

"He was so much a part of my life," Mr. Harrison said. "That was fun." He also held several leading roles at two other companies that are now part of JPMorgan Chase. As the chairman, he oversaw several major acquisitions, most recently the 2004 purchase of Bank One Corp. of Chicago -- the deal that brought Mr. Dimon aboard.

Though Mr. Harrison is retiring, he's not quite leaving JPMorgan Chase and will continue to represent it in some of its dealmaking. He will keep an office at the company's Park Avenue headquarters, but he has moved from the eighth floor to the 32nd. …

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