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JPMorgan Chase will maintain local giving but change the mix, says CEO
Posted by Kristi Heim
Fireworks shows are out, but grants to non-profits will continue.
JPMorgan Chase will maintain its level of charitable giving in Washington state, though the mix will change, CEO Jamie Dimon said today in an interview with the Seattle Times' Drew DeSilver and other local reporters.
PAUL SAKUMA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Chase's decision to drop sponsorship of the Independence Day fireworks show at Lake Union sparked concerns the New York-based bank, which took over Washington Mutual last September, was scaling back from WaMu's level of corporate philanthropy.
WaMu gave about $2.6 million in the state in 2008, and had sponsored the fireworks show since 2002. After Chase picked up WaMu, it said it would continue WaMu's level of corporate giving this year and agreed to pick up most of the $500,000 cost for this month's fireworks show.
JPMorgan Chase made a profit of $2.1 billion in the last quarter ended in March.
But Chase's charitable giving typically takes the form of grants to nonprofits rather than sponsorships, said Dimon and Phyllis Campbell, Chase's head of Northwest operations.
"Sponsorships really aren't in the sweet spot for us," Campbell said. Campbell joined the bank earlier this year after six years leading the Seattle Foundation, and her priorities are likely to shape what Chase funds.
Going forward, Dimon said Chase's philanthropy in Washington "will continue probably around that ($2.6 million) level" but added that "obviously there are going to be changes -- some things are going to go down, some will go up."
On a related subject, Dimon and Campbell said Chase was still sorting out what to do with WaMu's extensive collection of art and artifacts. Some likely will join Chase's collection in New York -- a collection that dates back to when the Rockefeller family ran one of the company's predecessor banks -- while other items will be donated to the Museum of History and Industry or other local institutions, Campbell said.
Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company
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