Monday, May. 08, 2006

Jamie Dimon

Big expectations aren't new for Jamie Dimon. Ever since he helped his mentor Sandy Weill build the financial-services powerhouse that became Citigroup in 1998 (only to get booted by the boss), the brash, brilliant Dimon has been considered one of the few rock stars in banking.

But now that Dimon, 50, has taken over as head of J.P. Morgan Chase, the nation's third largest bank, the industry is eagerly watching to see whether he can make music in the global financial-services supermarket that he helped shape. So far, Dimon has at least succeeded in shaking up J.P. Morgan, bringing to the job his trademark drive, candor and painstaking attention to detail. He has slashed some top managers' bloated salaries, preferring performance pay. He has canceled a multi-billion-dollar outsourcing deal with IBM to bring technology in house, settled charges of wrongdoing from the Enron and WorldCom scandals, and is bringing some consistency to the firm's volatile earnings.

Still, Dimon needs to add more retail muscle at home and abroad to deliver on the promise of his career, which means people are expecting not just big things but big deals from him. And he wouldn't have it any other way.