The CEO of JPMorgan Chase has found himself yet again thrust into the spotlight under the question of a White House run—this time pushed by billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman.

President Biden left many voters feeling uninspired following his performance in a televised debate with former President Donald Trump this week. Biden stumbled over certain points, reportedly leading some in his party to wonder if it’s time for a replacement.

This is the question Ackman, founder and CEO of Pershing Square Management, has pounced upon—and drawn Wall Street titan Dimon into the conversation.

Posting on the Elon Musk-owned social media platform X after the debate,

If the Democratic Party were smart, it would make Jamie Dimon the candidate. Jamie said he wouldn’t run unless he was anointed president. This would be his anointment.

— Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) June 28, 2024

Dimon—who was paid a record $36 million for his work at America’s biggest bank in 2023—may have been taken somewhat at his word in this instance.

Earlier this year, per the Financial Times, Dimon said: “I’ve always said I’d love to be president, but you’d have to anoint me, folks,” prompting laughter from his audience at the Economic Club of New York.

Indeed, while many have thrown the Harvard Business School alumnus’ metaphorical hat into the ring, Dimon has repeatedly denied his intentions for a presidential run.

“I’ve never really believed I’m suited for it,” he told The Economist in July of last year. “If you’re going to do that, you should practice. You don’t just say ‘Oh I’m going to run for office,’” Dimon added. “There may be common skills between a CEO in terms of administration, management, leadership, but there’s also non common ones. You’re dealing with a whole bunch of different issues.”

JPMorgan has also shut down such speculation, telling Fortune last summer: “As he has said in the past, Jamie has no plans to run for office. He is very happy in his current role.”

A spokesperson for the bank declined to comment on Friday.

Dimon’s denials have continued into this year. In an interview with Bloomberg’s Emily Chang two months ago, Dimon was asked if he was “sure” he wasn’t running for office.

“I’m pretty sure,” Dimon responded. Upon hearing anecdotes of a group of ex-pats saying they would return to the nation if he sat in the Oval Office, Dimon joked back: “I got four more votes.”

While Dimon has also said “maybe one day” he’d serve the U.S. in “one way or another,” the CEO also doubled down on his intention to stay out of politics in an interview with the Wall Street Journal in April.

“I would not do Fed chairman, I wouldn’t do Treasury Secretary—I don’t think I’d ever be picked for that,” he said.

Change of circumstances

Unwarranted or not, speculation about Dimon’s next steps has only increased in recent months after the 68-year-old announced he would be stepping down from the top job at JPMorgan within the next five years.

Dimon—who has earned the unofficial title from some as the “King of Wall Street”—changed his stance in May from the line he has stuck to for many years: that he’ll consider retiring “in five years’ time.”

But this spring at JPMorgan’s investor day, his famous response didn’t come: “The timetable isn’t five years anymore,” he said.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Street began to wonder whether Dimon would continue on as chairman of the board with a new name in the CEO position—or whether he’d depart the financial behemoth entirely.

While the context around Dimon’s occupation might have changed, the fact Ackman is backing the banker for the White House isn’t a surprise. The hedge fund founder, worth approximately $8 billion according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, has repeatedly and publicly endorsed Dimon for the presidency.

Indeed, if Dimon did decide to make a run for the White House he wouldn’t be the first high-profile CEO to do so. Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, for example, was considering an independent campaign but ultimately decided against it. Likewise Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief and chairman of the media company after his name, is a former presidential candidate.

Ackman’s assumption that Dimon would even run for the Biden-led party is also shaky, with the latter describing himself as “barely a Democrat” in previous interviews.

One thing’s for sure, the man worth $2.2 billion according to Forbes has strong opinions about the place of America’s leadership on the global stage. After all, he believes, it’s “the most important thing for the world in the next 100 years.”

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