JPMorgan chief Dimon to sell some of his own company stock for first time

By Niket Nishant and Lananh Nguyen

(Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon will sell part of his stake in the largest U.S. bank next year for the first time in almost 18 years at the helm, the bank said on Friday.

Billionaire Dimon and his family intend to sell 1 million of the 8.6 million shares they own, subject to the terms of a stock trading plan, the bank said in a regulatory filing.

The sale would fetch nearly $141 million, with a remaining stake of about $1.07 billion, based on Thursday’s closing price. It will account for less than 10% of Dimon’s holdings, which also include performance shares that have not vested and stock options.

Dimon has an estimated net worth of $1.7 billion, according to Forbes. JPMorgan has a market capitalization of over $409 billion, according to LSEG data.

Dimon will sell the stock for “financial diversification and tax-planning purposes,” and he “continues to believe the company’s prospects are very strong,” the bank said in the filing.

The sale is not related to leadership succession, a company spokesman said. Dimon is not planning to sell more stock, but could consider doing so in the future, the spokesman added.

Octavio Marenzi, chief executive of Opimas, a management consultant focused on capital markets, said the action “makes perfect sense” given Dimon’s wealth is so concentrated in his company’s stock. Still, investors can view executives’ share sales as a bad sign.

“In his rhetoric, he has become more negative and quite bearish,” Marenzi said. “It doesn’t look good, but they’re massaging the optics as best they can.”

Shares of JPMorgan slid 1.5% in morning trading alongside peers Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo.

Dimon steered JPMorgan through the 2008 financial crisis and orchestrated a rescue deal for First Republic Bank this year after the failure of several regional banks, which fueled industry turmoil.

So far this year, JPMorgan shares have risen 3%, outperforming the S&P 500 Banks Index, which has declined 16%.

(This story has been refiled to remove an extraneous word from paragraph 3)

(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru and Lananh Nguyen in New York; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar, Shinjini Ganguli, Mike Harrison and Jonathan Oatis)