Wall Street leaderless in fight over rules with Dimon diminished

Moynihan, Pandit

Bank of America Corp. CEO Brian T. Moynihan, 52, has struggled to contain losses from soured mortgages that have cost the lender, the second-largest in the U.S., more than $40 billion. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank, which took a $45 billion bailout during the crisis, failed to win Fed approval in 2011 to increase the capital it can return to shareholders after telling investors dividends would climb.

Citigroup Inc. CEO Vikram Pandit, 55, had his firm’s capital plan rejected by the Fed March 13. Shares of the New York-based lender, the third-biggest in the U.S., have tumbled 18 percent since. Shareholders in May rejected Pandit’s compensation plan, which included about $15 million for 2011 and a retention agreement that could be worth $40 million.

At Goldman Sachs, CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein retreated from making public comments in 2010 and 2011 as his company was sued by the SEC for its role selling subprime mortgage bonds, a case later settled for $550 million, and he testified before a Senate subcommittee. Blankfein, 57, recently began an effort to reshape his image with television interviews, an opinion piece in Politico and speaking engagements. This month, the SEC and the Justice Department ended probes of the New York-based firm.

Rumpled Tuxedo

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman, 54, whose firm announced job cuts July 19 after missing analysts’ estimates amid a 48 percent drop in trading revenue, doesn’t fit the Wall Street titan stereotype. The Australian prefers a rumpled tuxedo he bought as a business school student in 1980 to Armani for black- tie events, and he stocks Vegemite in the executive kitchen.

John Stumpf, 58, CEO of Wells Fargo & Co., has the respect of his peers, and his San Francisco-based bank, the largest in the U.S. by market value, has posted annual profits for more than a decade. Still, he works far from Wall Street and is “allergic” to the role of industry statesman, said Nancy Bush, an analyst and contributing editor at SNL Financial LC, a research firm based in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“Part of Jamie’s fitting into that role was his natural brashness as a Wall Streeter and New Yorker, and that is not John,” Bush said. “He’s self-effacing, he’s quiet as a manager, and his company is naturally quiet. It’s not a role that will naturally fall to him, though I think it should.”

European Vacuum

Stumpf, who will become chairman of the Financial Services Roundtable next year, said in a February interview at Bloomberg’s New York office that his primary responsibilities are to “my teammates, our customers and our shareholders.”

Spokesmen for Wells Fargo, JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

A similar leadership vacuum exists in Europe, where prominent industry defender Josef Ackermann retired in May as CEO of Deutsche Bank AG and chairman of the Institute of International Finance, a global lobbying group. Barclays CEO Diamond, who was as outspoken on behalf of banks in London as Dimon was in Washington, resigned in July after U.K. authorities fined his firm a record 290 million pounds ($456 million) for rigging the benchmark London interbank offered rate, or Libor.

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