By Emma Haslett Thursday, 03 July 2014

Warren Buffett on JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon: 'He handled his cancer announcement exactly right'

Everyone's favourite billionaire granddad, Warren Buffett, has praised JPMorgan chief exec Jamie Dimon for the way he told his shareholders about his throat cancer.

For anyone, finding out you have cancer is devastating - but if you're the chief executive of one of the world's largest banks, the diagnosis can rock the company you work for, too. So the fact that JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon took the bold step of writing a memo to his staff and shareholders detailing his throat cancer diagnosis was extremely brave.

The way he did it has been heavily praised by Warren Buffett, who told the FT that Dimon handled his disclosure 'exactly right'.

'He would, no question about it. He is a first-class guy and I think the world of him.

'It's a material fact, so you get it out fast and you get it out accurately and if there is any big change - which there has not been in my case - then you get that out there subsequently.'

Buffett is, of course, talking about his own experience of cancer: in 2012 he wrote to shareholders to explain he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Dimon has said that he used Buffett's memo as his inspiration.

In Dimon's memo, sent on Wednesday, he explained that he will continue to run JPMorgan 'as normal' while he undergoes eight weeks of radiotherapy. He also outlined all the tests he's undergone so far, adding that 'the prognosis from my doctors is excellent'.

The disclosure seems to have gone down well with shareholders: shares only dropped 1% yesterday, while one of the bank's larger shareholders told the FT that 'more information is always better'. An example of the corporate world's new obsession with transparency working well.

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