Non-Profit Group Majority Action works with investors to hold corporations accountable using their shareholder voting. This month the pressure mounts for JP Morgan to break its long-standing love-affair with Exxon Oil Man Lee Raymond. Currently, Raymond holds the top position on JP Morgan’s 11-member board. Topped only by JP Morgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon.
JP Morgan is the world’s top lender to the fossil-fuel industry—in 2019 the bank loaned $44 billion to the oil and gas industry—drawing worldwide attention and controversy, with constant protests outside its HQ. Yet, its obvious high-level influencer had remained unnoticed until now. Once dubbed by Greenpeace the “Darth Vader of global warming” Raymond is a longtime climate-skeptic, even claiming that the “planet is cooling”. Having been the Exxon CEO until 2005, he remains heavily intertwined with big oil and the industry as a whole.
Lee Raymond has been a member of JP Morgan’s board for three decades, with a track record of guiding the bank’s largest mergers, it is safe to say his opinion is highly-regarded. However, this might change, with enough shareholder voters, Raymond’s time might soon be up.
This kind of activism is promising, many blue chip companies have unexpressed votes on major issues. Acting on one’s proxy votes could drastically improve corporate behaviour for a cleaner future.
Check out Majority Action’s work here.