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Dimon: Controversy Over My Chairman Role a 'Sideshow'

Jamie Dimon
Victor J. Blue | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Jamie Dimon

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon fired back at a group of investors who last week proposed stripping him of his current role as chairman, calling the issue a "sideshow" for the bank and its investors.

Addressing his management team and hundreds of investors gathered at the bank's headquarters for an investor day meeting, Dimon said his "plea to shareholders" on this issue was to continue to allow the board flexibility to decide whether or not his joint chairman/CEO title was appropriate.

"My board is eleven, six could fire me tomorrow," he said. "The board should have the flexibility to do what it feels appropriate."

(Read More: JPMorgan Investors Propose Splitting CEO, Chairman Roles)

Dimon also cited research which he said indicates a company with a combined CEO/chairman role tends to outperform companies where the role is split, calling it a "silly" approach for critics to take a steadfast position about the issue.

While Dimon continues to face lingering discontent about the company's London Whale trading debacle, investors and analysts have been assuaged to a large degree by the company's recent market performance. Shares of JPM have spiked over the last 8 months, and recently hit multi-year highs.

(Read More: JPMorgan Profit Up; 'Whale' Swallows Dimon Pay)

"I think Jamie is the 'right person' and am hard pressed to say JPM's share price would benefit [from] splitting the roles right now," Sandler O'Neill analyst Jeff Harte told CNBC.

As part of a lengthy Q&A session, Dimon also told investors that, despite a massive management overhaul in recent months, he remains "completely comfortable" with the leadership team around him.

On markets, he sounded an optimistic, yet cautious tone, saying fiscal policy in Washington remained a legitimate worry for markets and that investors faced a risk that interest rates could rebound too quickly.

On the issue of returning capital to shareholders, Dimon said his aim was to raise the dividend annually and if stock buybacks became too expensive, he would move to issue a special dividend instead.

Shares of the company were hit earlier in the day after the company announced it would be laying off roughly 4,000 people this year, but rebounded to close just fractionally lower on the day.

(Read More: JPMorgan to Slash $1 Billion in Costs; Cut Staff by 4,000)

—By CNBC's By Jesse Bergman; Follow him on Twitter: @JBergmanCNBC

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