Jamie Dimon says that he has learned lessons from his bank’s advisory work for WeWork this year, and that he believes the co-working company has a shot to avoid bankruptcy.
“We want them to do that,” Dimon continued. “We don’t want them to lay off 14,000 people and have bankruptcy or something like that. There are a lot of lessons to be learned on the way by everybody involved, and I’ve learned a few myself.”
Among lessons are that companies should have “proper corporate governance” and an independent board before filing to go public, he said. Shareholders should be treated like partners, rather than figuring out how to extract the highest valuation, he said.
Dimon, who reportedly directly advised former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann, declined to say whether Neumann or the company had been misled by banks. While WeWork ultimately choose a bailout from Softbank, which had earlier invested in the company at a $47 billion valuation, J.P. Morgan had arranged for a financing deal after the IPO plans imploded in late September.
“You don’t know the private advice we gave him or the company,” Dimon said.
“I do think we helped WeWork get to a proper conclusion, which I think is very important,” Dimon added later. “I really would’ve been bothered and upset mostly if that company had been a failure and had a chance to succeed, and now it has a chance to succeed.”