Last year at Davos, Jamie Dimon made headlines with a couple of one-liners.
But one snarky remark that didn’t go down so well was directed at a Citi banker.
Apparently in the middle of an event at Davos, this happened, according to the WSJ:
“You should go work for a real bank,” Mr. Dimon taunted a Citigroup banker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January, interrupting while the banker was schmoozing clients.
Apparently Dimon said “he made the comment in jest” and is “sorry.”
Of course the damage was done, and Citi execs were furious. The comment exacerbated tension that was already building between the two banks, because Citi was “already peeved by what they saw as attempts to poach Citigroup clients by highlighting the bank’s turmoil,” the WSJ reported.
(That game goes both ways: Citi just poached JP Morgan’s John Novak “for its equities unit,” according to Bloomberg. Novak was head of U.S. cash equities sales trading at Dimon’s bank.)
Citi has more to be angry about than having its employees recruited to JP Morgan. Dimon’s firm made presentations to Citi clients with a PowerPoint presentation about why JPMorgan is better.
At meetings with potential customers, J.P. Morgan bankers showed slides of Citigroup’s shriveled market value, while J.P. Morgan’s held steady. Their pitch: It is safer to do business with J.P. Morgan than with Citigroup, said people familiar with the comments.
Citigroup executives telephoned J.P. Morgan to complain about the tactics… “We view it as bordering on unethical,” said a senior Citigroup executive.
Dimon told the WSJ that he wasn’t aware of such a pitch and if he had known, would have put a stop to it.
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