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JP Morgan: US banking giant gives boss ‘special award’

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Banking giant JP Morgan Chase gave its chief executive a “special award”, potentially worth millions of dollars.

The company said the award was to persuade Jamie Dimon to lead it for a “significant number of years” more.

The 1.5 million stock appreciation rights, which are like options, will allow him to take a profit if the firm’s share price rises.

Mr Dimon is the only sitting boss of a major Wall Street bank who saw it through the 2008 financial crisis.

In a statement to investors, the company said: “This special award reflects the Board’s desire for Mr Dimon to continue to lead the Firm for a further significant number of years.”

Mr Dimon became chief executive of JP Morgan Chase at the end of 2005 and was also named chairman a year later.

He was paid $31.5m (£23.1m) in 2020 and, according to Forbes, has an estimated net worth of $1.8bn.

His decision in 2006 for JP Morgan to unload $12bn of subprime mortgages helped protect the bank against the impact of the global financial crisis.

Mr Dimon’s future at the bank and succession planning for when he steps down is often the subject of speculation on Wall Street.

In 2018, a statement published by the firm quoted Mr Dimon as saying that “I will continue in my current role for approximately five more years”.

In response to queries about the award from the BBC, a JP Morgan Chase spokesperson said “There was no discussion that Mr Dimon was leaving any of his roles, and the independent members of the Board initiated the decision to grant today’s award. No third parties were involved.”

The spokesperson also noted: “the options are highly restricted, vesting in five years. And he is only allowed to sell any shares related to the grant in 10 years. Board members can also cancel or claw back the award. And the options grant has no value if the stock does not increase.”

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