JP Morgan CEO won’t attend Saudi investment conference

J.P. Morgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon will not be attending a Saudi investment conference later this month, the bank told CNBC’s Wilfred Frost on Sunday, amid concerns about the disappearance and suspected killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The announcement comes only hours after another top executive, Ford Motor Chairman Bill Ford, announced he too would not be attending the Future Investment Initiative, also known as “Davos in the Desert,” which is scheduled for Oct. 23 to 25.

Several executives and media outlets — including CNBC, Financial Times, CNN and The New York Times — have withdrawn from the event.

The Future Investment Initiative is designed to highlight Saudi Arabia’s importance on the global stage, especially with investors. The withdrawal of a major Wall Street CEO is a significant setback.

Some, however, have maintained their plans to attend.

The International Monetary Fund’s Christine Lagarde said over the weekend she still plans to attend the event, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Friday that he, too, still plans to go to the Future Investment Initiative conference.

Khashoggi, a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi royal family, was last seen Oct. 2 when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Saudi Arabia has denied it was involved in Khashoggi’s disappearance. Turkey has reportedly informed the U.S. that it has video and audio evidence showing Khashoggi, who wrote for The Washington Post, was killed inside the consulate.

Khashoggi had been living in the United States as a voluntary exile from Saudi Arabia.

Source: CNBC