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Which Board is Better? JPMorgan or Wells Fargo $JPM $WFC $XLF

I recently blogged about the boards of JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC). Here are a few comparisons.

JPM has ten independent directors. WFC has fifteen.

Average Age at JPM 62. At WFC 64

Average length holding board seat at JPM 7.3. At WFC 9.5

At JPM 60% of directors have been there for 8 years or more.

At WFC 53% if directors have been there for 8 years or more. 5 have been there over 15 years. Potential for renewal is greatest.

At JPM only one women on board. At WFC 5 women on board.

The most striking difference between the two boards is the political and regulatory backgrounds. WFC has two former federal cabinet secretaries and two individuals who were on local boards within the Fed Reserve System. As well many of the other members come from regulated industries.

At JPM no former high level politicians, no former members of the Fed Reserve local structure and precious little regulatory experience.

JP Morgan had the London Whale and a marque CEO lipping off at central bankers.

The director`s background has created a different culture. Just the sheer weight of more voices mitigates some risk. WFC has long been placing women on the board. Controversial as it may seem, if women bring an advantage than WFC has it more than covered. JPM is nowhere on this point.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.