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Berkshire boss backs Chase CEO

– Warren Buffett, who has said he personally owns shares of JPMorgan Chase, is backing the bank’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon as shareholders vote this month on whether to split his roles.

“I’m 100 percent for Jamie,” Buffett told Bloomberg Television’s Betty Liu on Thursday in Omaha, Neb. “I couldn’t think of a better chairman.”

Calls for Dimon, 57, to relinquish the chairmanship have mounted since New York-based JPMorgan disclosed risk-control lapses on derivatives bets last year that fueled more than $6.2 billion of losses. In March, the company’s board urged investors to vote against naming a separate chairman at the May 21 meeting, saying that Dimon’s dual role remains the “most effective leadership model.”

Buffett said in November that Dimon would be the best candidate to lead the Treasury Department in a financial crisis. President Barack Obama eventually nominated Jack Lew to the post vacated by Timothy Geithner.

Investors would risk shortening Dimon’s tenure if they appoint a separate chairman and their company’s stock may lose its “premium valuation,” Charles Peabody, an analyst at Portales Partners, said last month in a note to clients.

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