Jamie Dimon is the charismatic Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., one of the oldest and most powerful financial institutions in the country. In the business world, his operational and management practices are legendary. During the 2008 financial crises, while competitors imploded during the economic downturn, Dimon outmaneuvered rivals to eventually turn his company into the world’s biggest bank by market capitalization.
This sort of success led to Dimon becoming one of the few bank chief executives to reach billionaire status, thanks in part to a $485 million stake in JPMorgan Chase. Besides his salaried position, Dimon has also been on the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Harvard Business School, and Catalyst. In 2018 he landed on Fortune’s World’s Greatest Leaders list and was once referred to by The New York Times as "America's least-hated banker."
In an unusual twist of fate, Dimon entered Harvard Business School's MBA program in 1980, a year when Wall Street was a wreck and not many people seemed to be going into finance. Once he got to campus, the future tycoon cultivated an outsider persona both in the classroom and in nonacademic ways. He didn’t live in university housing, openly challenged professors, and eschewed the traditional uniform of students. But he was an excellent student, and at the start of his second year, Dimon was vice president of the school’s finance club. In 1982, Dimon graduated with high distinction as a Baker Scholar, an honor bestowed on the top five percent of each graduating MBA class at Harvard.
Over the years, Dimon has shown that he has deep ties to his alma mater, noting that not only is his wife an alumna, but so is their oldest daughter. Fittingly, Dimon has showed up on the Cambridge campus for multiple occasions. In 2009, he returned as the Class Day 2009 Keynote Speaker, bestowing hope in a time when the financial world was at its lowest. A year later, Harvard Business School bestowed Dimon with its most important honor, the Alumni Achievement Award. Along with other award recipients, Dimon participated in a campus panel discussion held before a large audience of MBA students and other members of the HBS community.
More recently in 2018, Dimon returned to Harvard in his role of CEO to tackle the questions of how to rebuild the city of Detroit, a forum event that showed Dimon's interest in political and social issues that go well beyond those pertaining to financial regulation. In other words, just another day in the life of a world-famous Harvard Business School alum.