Two Criticized JPMorgan Directors Step Down

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Two of the three JPMorgan Chase (JPM) board members who became lightning rods for governance criticism this spring have left the bank.

Ellen Futter and David Cote have stepped down from the board, JPMorgan Chase said Friday. The bank says it plans to appoint new directors this year.

Futter, the president of New York's American Museum of Natural History, retires after 16 years on the board; Cote, chief executive of Honeywell International, retires after more than five years. Both directors, along with Henry Crown & Co. president James S. Crown, came under fire this spring in the lead-up to JPMorgan's annual meeting in May. All three were members of the board's risk-management committee, which was widely criticized for failing to prevent last year's $6 billion trading losses.

As CEO Jamie Dimon faced mounting pressure over those losses and JPMorgan's governance, prominent proxy advisers recommended that shareholders vote against re-electing the three directors. The board members' financial experience, or lack thereof, also became a point of contention; Futter, who also sat on AIG's governance committee right before the insurer took a government bailout, faced particular criticism and did not attend the shareholder meeting.

Investors re-elected Futter, Cote and Crown at the meeting, but none received approval from more than 60% of shareholders. At the time, lead director Lee Raymond told shareholders to "stay tuned” for changes in the risk-management committee's composition.

Dimon thanked Futter and Cote for their service in a press release and said, "We have learned a great deal from both of them and will miss having them as members of our Board."

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