Dimon turns to Blankfein for support, advice


Running a premiere bank puts one in rare air, and it's not surprising that Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, and Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, are friends. They have a lot in common, as both have been put through the regulatory wringer and have been severely tried in the court of public opinion.

As the worm turns in this industry, Dimon is now the one who finds himself embattled and attacked from all sides, while Blankfein is enjoying a respite after a tumultuous period. Indeed, while Dimon fights for his dual job as Chairman and CEO, Blankfein has taken a statesman-like turn and perhaps has put himself in position to gracefully transition to the perfect public service job.

The New York Times reports that Blankfein has in fact become an informal advisor to his friend Dimon.

It noted that, "Having survived that trial by fire, Mr. Blankfein is advising Mr. Dimon that the current storm will eventually pass, just as it appears to have done so for Goldman, the people with knowledge of the relationship said. Goldman's experiences  does offer lessons. At a recent meeting of top financial services industry executives, Mr. Dimon asked a small group of people, which included a top-ranking Goldman executive but not Mr. Blankfein, how Goldman managed to avoid having to put forward to shareholders a vote on whether to split the job of chairman and chief executive, according to one attendee and others briefed on the conversation."

It's clear to many that Goldman Sachs has done a better job negotiating with key shareholders ahead of its meeting, offering governance changes to secure approval. There is still time for JPMorgan to do the same, but the board has to offer something real.  

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