Walter Shipley, who helped create what is now JPMorgan Chase, has died

Posted at 8:30 PM, Jan 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-12 22:30:34-05

(CNN) — Walter V. Shipley, the architect of several bank mega mergers that reshaped the industry, has died. He was 83.

Shipley was the chairman and CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank. He led several mergers in the ’80s and ’90s.

JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon announced Shipley’s passing in a letter to employees Saturday.

“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,” Dimon wrote.

Former JP Morgan Chase CEO Bill Harrison, who worked closely with Shipley, said in a statement that he “had a vision of where the banking industry was going,” Harrison said. “Walter played a critical role in making JPMorgan Chase what it is today.”

Shipley’s wife of more than 55 years, Judith, died in 2014. He is survived by his five children.

Shipley, the son of a Wall Street investment banker, was born in New Jersey in 1935

He started his career in his early 20s at New York Trust Company, which was later acquired by Chemical Bank.

Shipley became a top loan officer, and he landed an executive position in 1978 and was named chairman and chief executive in 1983 at the age of 47.

An obituary from JP Morgan Chase said Shipley sought to create “meritocracies” when it came to staffing a company after a merger, rather than adopting a win-lose attitude that pushed out talented employees from the acquired firm.

“Some people’s philosophy is I win, you lose,” he told the New York Times in a 1999. “Our philosophy is that the best is when both sides feel they’ve come out winners.”

He retired from Chase in 1999, a year before it acquired JP Morgan.

“Earlier this year, it became clear to me that the next generation of leadership at Chase was ready to take over and that my work was done,” Shipley said in his retirement statement.

Throughout his career, Shipley also served as a board member at Champion International, Exxon Mobil, Verizon and Wyeth.

He was also involved in philanthropy and served as chairman of The Wallace Foundation, an education-focused charity. Shipley was also vice chairman of the New York region of Goodwill Industries.