Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Bergen Banker Sole COO at Chase

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Bergen Banker Sole COO at Chase

Article excerpt

A Franklin Lakes investment banker who is considered a possible successor to Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan Chase & Co. has further polished his credentials at the nation's largest bank because of the recent departure of a colleague with whom he had shared a title.

An internal memo the company shared with the press says Dimon has given Matthew E. Zames, who grew up in Upper Saddle River, sole possession of the chief operating officer tag.

Zames' colleague, Frank Bisignano, left recently to become CEO of First Data Corp. in Atlanta.

The latest of many title changes for Zames, who at age 42 is the youngest of the firm's 13 executive officers listed in the annual report, has industry observers again talking about him as a leading candidate for the top job -- although it should be noted that Dimon has not indicated any intentions of leaving.

"This guy's a pretty clear No. 2," said Jon Trugman, managing member of New York City-based asset management firm Pendulum Capital Management.

"I think the board trusts him and so does Dimon; but that can always change."

"Matt is an exceptional partner with deep experience and knowledge across our businesses," Dimon wrote in the memo sent Sunday night to employees. "We greatly value the strong leadership and impact he has shown since coming into his corporate role under challenging conditions last May," Dimon said.

Zames, who has been with JPMorgan since 2004, was paid $16.6 million in 2012, including $6.1 million in salary and more than $9 million in stock awards, according to the company's April 10 proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Zames said in an email that his altered title represents "an extension of the role I had, so I think it will be a seamless transition."

"I really just come to work every day trying to help," he said. "We have 50 million customers, including almost 3 million in New Jersey, and I try to find ways to make our business better for them."

About living in Bergen County, he said, "I grew up here and couldn't think of a better place to live. I'd much rather be outside with my kids than in the city. I get in to the office before sunrise most days, so I can come home and still spend time with my family. …

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