When Will JP Morgan Fire CIO Ina Drew?–Or, Has It?

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It is safe to assume that JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon will keep his job as CEO after the bank’s astonishing announcement that it had a trading loss of $2 billion, which could grow. Dimon is the most well-regarded financial firm chief executive in America and adroitly maneuvered JPM through the credit crisis. It is apparent that he did not have direct involvement with the risky moves made by the bank’s traders.

The job security of Ina Drew, who has been the JPM Chief Investment Officer since 2005, is another matter. Dimon is known for being loyal his chief lieutenants, but in this case he could go too far.

Drew’s job description is as follows according to the JPM proxy:

The Chief Investment Office manages the Firm’s investment exposure while helping to advise lines of business on their own investment strategies. The Chief Investment Office is responsible for managing the Firm’s interest rate risk, foreign exchange risk and other structural risks, each of which are critical measures for the Firm.

The trading loss is hardly a situation in which the bank can claim no one is at fault, or that a committee made the decision to take the risky positions, or that the risk was worth taking at the time.

The disaster happened on Ina Drew’s watch. How she keeps her jobs is a mystery.

Late word from The Wall Street Journal is that three JPM executives will leave

Those leaving are Ina Drew, who since 2005 has run the risk-management unit that is responsible for the losses; Achilles Macris, who is in charge of the London-based desk that placed the trades; and trader Javier Martin-Artajo, a managing director on Mr. Macris’ team, the people said.


Douglas A. McIntyre