Walter Shipley, former Chase Manhattan chairman, dies at 83

Walter Shipley retired from Chase Manhattan Bank in 1999, a year before its acquisition of JPMorgan. (Bloomberg pic)

NEW YORK: Walter V. Shipley, former Chairman and CEO of what is now JPMorgan Chase, has died. He was 83.

Shipley led both Chase Manhattan Bank and Chemical Bank for more than 40 years, engineering mergers with Texas Commerce Bank in 1987, Manufacturers Hanover in 1991 and Chase Manhattan Bank in 1995.

The Newark, New Jersey, native began his career at the New York Trust Company in 1956, which was bought by Chemical three years later. He retired from Chase in 1999, a year before its acquisition of JPMorgan. It’s now the largest bank in the US, with some US$2.5 trillion in assets.

“On Friday, the world lost a critical force behind what is now JPMorgan Chase and, more importantly, an individual universally regarded with praise for his character, generosity and business acumen,” Jamie Dimon, the bank’s chairman, said in note sent to employees.

“Walter fostered an open, entrepreneurial meritocracy – one that carries through to this day at JPMorgan Chase,” Dimon said. “Widely respected for being a straight shooter, Walter believed there was no substitute for talent, drive and hard work.”