JPMorgan Chase’s chief financial officer has emerged as the top contender to replace the company’s current Chairman and Chief Executive James Dimon, who will step down in five years.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Marianne Lake, one of the most senior women in finance, is on the bank’s short list of possible successors. If it turns out to be true, she would become the first female chief executive of one of the largest U.S. banks.
Lake is already a role model for many women in the field: The 48 year-old single mother of three young children has been praised not only for her ability to juggle family and career, but also for how she has handled some of the company’s toughest issues.
A JPMorgan vet of 19 years, Lake served as the investment bank’s global controller and then led finance for the consumer banking unit. During her first year as CFO in 2013, she had to deal with the fallout from the bank’s 2012 “London whale” trading loss, and was praised for her performance.
There are other candidates to take Dimon’s position, including Doug Petno, head of the bank’s commercial-banking business, and Mary Callahan Erdoes, who leads the asset and wealth-management businesses. In addition, Gordon Smith and Daniel Pinto were promoted as co-presidents and co-chief operating officers in January. They will serve as the CEOs of JPMorgan’s corporate and investment bank and its consumer bank, respectively, with both reporting to Dimon.
However, sources have speculated that Smith and Pinto might be out of the running because both will be 60 or older when Dimon steps down. But Lake, Pento and Erdoes would be in their 50s, which is a more common age for a new bank CEO.
A JPMorgan spokesman said all the executives declined to comment.