Walter Shipley, the former chairman of Chase Manhattan, dies at 83

Walter Shipley oversaw a series of bank mergers that preceded JPMorgan Chase.

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Walter V. Shipley, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Chase Manhattan Bank, has died at the age of 83, the bank announced on Saturday.

Shipley is credited with crafted a series of bank mergers that led to the formation of JPMorgan Chase, the current powerhouse that casts a long shadow on Wall Street. Shipley’s accomplishments are noteworthy, given that he was forced to leave college due to poor grades. Over four decades, he helped to orchestrate mergers with Texas Commerce Bank in 1987, Manufacturers Hanover in 1991 and Chase Manhattan Bank in 1995.

He retired in 1999, the year before Chase acquired the investment bank J.P. Morgan. Prior to that, he ran Chemical Bank, overseeing a string of mergers that culminated with Chase Manhattan in the 1995. He also served on the board of a variety of companies, including Exxon Mobil and Verizon.

He is survived by five children, seven grandchildren, two siblings and a companion, the bank said.

Below is the full text of a note that J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon shared with employees on Saturday:

Dear colleagues,

It is with a heavy heart that I share the news of Walter V. Shipley’s passing.

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.

Walter, 83, was the former Chairman and CEO of both Chase Manhattan Bank and Chemical Bank. During his over 40-year tenure with our company, he engineered mergers with Texas Commerce Bank in 1987, Manufacturers Hanover in 1991 and Chase Manhattan Bank in 1995. Walter retired at the end of 1999, the year before Chase acquired J.P. Morgan.

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

While we mourn the loss of a great leader and strategic thinker, we also remember Walter with a smile for his ability to motivate people while earning their respect through periods of tremendous challenge. You can read more about what made Walter so special to so many people in the obituary below.

We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, and continue to hold Walter in our thoughts and prayers.

Jamie

–Reuters contributed to this article.

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