A statement from CEO and Chairman James Dimon called Lee, who had worked with JPMorgan and its predecessors since the 1970s, "a master of his craft," and "an incomparable force of nature." Widely-regarded as the man with the keys to JPMorgan's massive balance sheet, Lee was involved in countless multibillion dollar mergers across every industry.
Among his longstanding clients was General Electric (GE), where he was among the lead advisers on the sale of the bulk of its finance division, a project announced two months ago.
"Jimmy Lee was a great friend and I am heartbroken at the news of his passing today," GE CEO Jeff Immelt said in an e-mailed statement. "Jimmy was a part of the GE family. He was a trusted advisor to our company, and he worked with us on every important deal we have done at GE. We loved him dearly and could not have been closer to him if he was a GE employee."
When TheStreet wrote about Lee in 2009, he declined to be interviewed on the record, but well-known business figures such as News Corp (NWSA) CEO Rupert Murdoch and The Blackstone Group (BX) boss Steve Schwarzman lauded his work.
Former General Electric (GE) chief Jack Welch told TheStreet at the time that Lee was "the most incredible client person that anybody ever had.". Schwarzman, a longtime client of Lee, confirmed in that 2009 story that he had tried to recruit Lee to work at Blackstone.