(Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N),
under pressure from the New York Attorney General's office, has agreed to
give investors information about upcoming ballot votes, after the company
that collects votes on the measures stopped giving out polling information
The bank's annual meeting
is on Tuesday, and by far the most controversial matter up for vote is
whether bank head Jamie Dimon should retain his chief executive role but
be stripped of his chairman title. Investors that sponsored the measure,
including a government workers' union pension fund, said the bank's CEO
has too much sway over the board, and needs more oversight. Dimon has
hinted that if he is no longer chairman, he may leave the bank.
Last week, the company
that collects votes from investors, Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc, (BR.N)
stopped telling the shareholders how votes had been cast so far for this
and other measures. Investors use this information to determine how to
tailor their campaigns. JPMorgan was not immediately available for
Receiving the information
at this late state is of limited use, said Dieter Waizenegger, executive
director of the CtW Investment Group, which advises pensions that were
voting against the bank in a separate measure regarding the reelection of
"We were cut off from the
tallies during the crucial week leading up to the meeting," Waizenegger
It is unclear precisely
why Broadridge stopped giving information to investors. The company told
Reuters on Friday that the decision was not its own, and instead came from
the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, a trade group
whose members include JPMorgan.
On Saturday, SIFMA said
that when it spoke to the company, Broadridge had already made up its mind
to suspend passing along information. On Sunday, Broadridge said that the
decision to stop passing along information was its own, and was based on
its agreement with SIFMA that a broader review of the matter is warranted.
On Monday, Broadridge said in a statement that it follows Securities and
Exchange Commission regulations, and there are no rules requiring that
voting information be provided to proponents of proxy measures.
Broadridge added, "given
concerns raised by multiple broker clients regarding the release of this
voting, we have stopped releasing voting information to proponents ..."
New York Attorney General
Eric Schneiderman's office tried to learn on Thursday and Friday how a
decision was made, according to a source familiar with the matter. Late
Friday, Schneiderman's office sent a letter to JPMorgan's general counsel,
Stephen Cutler, raising concerns about what had happened, the source said.
Staff from the Attorney
General's office held two conference calls with JPMorgan on Saturday, and
the bank agreed to tell Broadridge to provide interim results to the
sponsors, the source said.
Broadridge then balked at
providing the information, because it was not sure it had the legal
authority to, the source said. But JPMorgan agreed to give the information
directly to the sponsors as long as they signed a confidentiality
agreement, the source added.
(Reporting by Dan Wilchins;
Editing by Bernard Orr)