JP Morgan smashed earnings estimates last week, as other banks have seriously struggled in the first half of 2011.That makes Jamie Dimon, the bank’s CEO, man of the moment.
The thing is… Dimon is often man of the moment.
When you look back at his life, there’s a trend, and it’s not hard to see: Jamie Dimon comes out on top, every time.
Even when he gets fired…
Dimon, a twin, was born with finance in his blood and grew up on Long Island in a modest family home
In 1956, Mrs. Themis Dimon gave birth to twin boys Jamie and Ted Jr. They already had an older brother.
Dimon's dad was a stockbroker. And his grandfather, a Greek immigrant, also worked in finance.
Source: Last Man Standing
The modest life didn't last long: the family moved from Queens to the Upper East Side on Park Avenue
Once he arrives on the Upper East Side, the athlete and ladies' man attended Browning: a private, all boys high school
At Browning Dimon played varsity soccer, basketball and baseball. Apparently his nickname was 'Mad Dog.' Amazing.
Dimon was also a bit of a ladies' man. 'In senior year, he majored in his girlfriend,' a pal said.
Souce: Last Man Standing
He was rejected by Brown but scored a place at Tufts, where he wrote a thesis that got him in the door with Sandy Weill
Dimon graduated summa cum laude from Tufts with majors in psychology and economics.
He used a thesis he wrote about a business deal involving his father and Sandy Weill (who knew Dimon's family socially) to land a summer gig at Weill's Hayden Stone. Weill then became Dimon's mentor.
Source: Last Man Standing.
Dimon was in the same MBA class as GE's Jeff Immelt, plus hedge fund managers Seth Klarman and Steven Mandel, and another special person: his future wife, Judy.
Immelt once said: 'Judy was by far the best-looking, sexiest, and smartest girl in the class, and Jamie got to her first.' They now have three beautiful daughters together.
He graduated as a Baker Scholar -- which is the top academic honour at Harvard Business School, given only to the top 5% of the graduating MBA class.
Source: Last Man Standing
Dimon is so in-demand after Harvard he turns down offers from Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers, instead going to work with mentor Sandy Weill at Amex, and eventually taking over Citi
Dimon got fired from Citi by Weill, but then gets the job as CEO of Bank One in 2000 and doubled its value in four years
Weill fired Dimon in 1998 after a huge tension build-up. rumours were that the straw that broke the camel's back was tension with Weill's daughter who worked for the company.
He was made CEO of Bank One two years later, and doubled the value of the company within four years.
Source: NY Mag
Dimon then convinced JP Morgan's CEO to buy Bank One, and one year after the merger, Dimon became CEO of JP Morgan
When JP Morgan bought Bank One for $58 billion, Dimon was made President and COO.
He became CEO one year later.
He steered JP Morgan through the financial crisis with serious cool, picking up two banks along the way
With less dodgy mortgage-related products on its books than the other banks on Wall Street, under Dimon, JP Morgan emerged from the crisis better than any other bank.
Dimon picked up Bear Stearns for $260 million in a firesale -- called 'the best deal ever' as Bear was once worth $11.7 billion. Plus, JP Morgan acquired WaMu for $1.9 billion, making it the country's biggest bank.
In the wake of the crisis, Dimon became Obama's banker BFF for a while, sending him to national prominence and now his name is mentioned as possible treasury secretary
Jamie and his family lived in a beautiful multi-million dollar mansion in Chicago when he was in charge of Bank One
Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair's CEO, put it like so: 'JPMorgan Chase C.E.O. Jamie Dimon is tall. He's fit. For a banker, he's nice-looking. And he's got that head of fluffy white, unbankerish hair. You could argue that Dimon's single greatest asset is that he doesn't look like Dick Fuld.'
Dimon's bank recorded a solid 'beat' in Q2, with revenue of $26.7 billion, ahead of estimates of $24.91 billion.
Meanwhile, competitors like Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, are flailing. BofA beat earnings but the stock has been tanking on mortgage-related issues, and Goldman totally missed estimates last quarter.