Wall Street dreams of working for Jamie Dimon

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Now, amid some less than stellar Wall Street profits, rising costs and thousands of job cuts, workers across the financial industry say they want Dimon to lead them.

Nearly three in five of almost 600 respondents to the latest Markets Live Pulse survey say they’d most want to work for Dimon among the heads of the big six US banks. We don’t know exactly why anyone made their pick, but it’s no surprise that the longest-serving and best-known chief executive in the group had the most fans. 

This doesn’t mean Wall Street workers are letting Dimon or other top bosses off the hook. Almost half of the respondents, who represent a broad range of investors and bankers in the US and beyond, blame executives for high expenses and headcount reductions that are weighing on the industry. 

Dimon has given some of his own employees another reason to complain. Along with other executives, he’s turned up the heat on his desire to see staff come back to the office, even as swaths of workers say they’d change jobs, or have already, if managers make them badge in more often.

Jane Fraser of Citigroup Inc. has a more relaxed approach to working in person. She’s the next most-popular top boss, with 13% of the vote, separated from Dimon by a gap that’s practically as big as the tower JPMorgan is building in New York.

Fraser, the first woman to run a big US bank, took over a little more than two years ago and kicked off a cultural shift. Days into her new role, she announced that most of the staff would be able to work from home two days a week. 

People in the finance industry have more to be anxious about than schedules. About half of them say they’re as worried as usual about job losses, with over one in three saying they’re more concerned than usual. 

At the same time, half of the respondents expect big US banks to stabilize, while 29% expect them to make more money than ever in the year’s second half.

Morgan Stanley’s James Gorman, who’s been striking a note of optimism, clocked in with 11% of respondents saying they’d most want to work for him. But their time to do so is dwindling: Gorman has announced that his retirement is coming up soon.

Fewer picked Bank of America Corp.’s Brian Moynihan or Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s David Solomon as their top choice. Moynihan hasn’t sought the kind of celebrity status that surrounds some of his peers, instead quietly bringing the bank back from its crunch after the 2008 financial crisis with his mantra of “responsible growth.”

Solomon, whose off-hours persona includes his gigs as an electronic-music DJ, has been shoring up support internally amid setbacks that led to a 58% profit plunge last quarter. (Solomon hasn’t done a DJ gig since last summer, according to a spokesperson, who added that the stock has gained ground since the firm’s July 19 earnings release.)

Wells Fargo & Co.’s Charlie Scharf drew the fewest nods. Even though the bank just hit a key milestone, snatching the most trading and dealmaking market share in years, it remains by far the smallest Wall Street player of the group. Meanwhile, Scharf and his team are still cleaning up the scandals that took root under their predecessors.

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