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JPMorgan pushes back on ISS recommendations on severance, independent chair

FILE PHOTO: JP Morgan Chase & Co. corporate headquarters in New York

(Reuters) -JPMorgan Chase on Monday pushed back against recommendations made by proxy advisor Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) on investor proposals on severance payouts and the separation of the CEO and board chair positions.

ISS had supported the proposal that two separate people hold the office of the chairman and the office of the CEO, both roles currently held by Jamie Dimon.

JPM said in a regulatory filing "this fails to match the empirical evidence of the last 18 years of leadership by the current chairman and CEO that has seen the firm become the largest U.S. bank."

Dimon has been at the helm of the bank for more than 18 years and is one of the most influential figures in American business.

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The largest U.S. lender, plans to split the roles when CEO Jamie Dimon eventually steps down, according to its annual proxy statement.

Proxy advisers have also recommend investors vote to separate CEO and chairman's roles at peers including Goldman Sachs and Bank of America in a bid to improve the companies' governance.

ISS had also backed a shareholder proposal that JPMorgan adopt a policy to seek shareholder approval of senior managers' new or renewed pay package that provides for golden parachute payments. JPM had asked shareholders to vote against the proposal.

Senior management severance packages that pay out more than roughly three times salary and bonus are known as "golden parachutes."

JPMorgan said that there have not been any recent severance-related controversies at the company.

"The firm does not have such a policy for payouts in excess of market norms because it has an existing policy that already provides for severance payments well below market norms," it said.

(Reporting by Arasu Kannagi Basil in Bengaluru and Nupur Anand in New York; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)