JPMorgan gives Jamie Dimon a special stock option bonus to keep him as CEO for several more years

Finance

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon gives a speech during the inauguration of the new French headquarters of US’ JP Morgan bank on June 29, 2021 in Paris.
Michel Euler| AFP | Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase granted Jamie Dimon new stock options as a retention bonus to incentivize the chief executive officer to lead the banking giant for a few more years.

Dimon was awarded 1.5 million stock appreciation rights, a form of options contracts which he can exercise in five years if the stock price rises. JPMorgan shares closed at $149.71 on Tuesday after climbing 18% this year on the back of the economic reopening.

“This special award reflects the board’s desire for Mr. Dimon to continue to lead the firm for a further significant number of years,” the bank said in a regulatory filing.

These options would give Dimon a profit of approximately $49 million after a 10-year vesting schedule, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar.

“In making the special award, the board considered the importance of Mr. Dimon’s continuing, long-term stewardship of the firm, leadership continuity, and management succession planning amid a highly competitive landscape for executive leadership talent,” the bank said.

Dimon, 65, took over JPMorgan in 2005 and built the New York-based lender into the biggest U.S. bank after the financial crisis. For years, he had a running joke of saying he’s always five years away from stepping down. That coincided with the departure of a few executives who had been seen as potential successors.

In May, the bank named Marianne Lake and Jennifer Piepszak to run the company’s sprawling consumer bank after its long-time manager announced his retirement.

Succession talks had resurfaced after Dimon had a close call that required emergency heart surgery last year.

The bank kept Dimon’s annual pay at $31.5 million for 2020. The CEO got a 1.6% raise in the previous year after his bank posted record earnings and shares of the company surged.

JPMorgan is fresh off a better-than-expected quarter as the bank released money set aside for loan losses amid its improving outlook on the U.S. economy.

— CNBC’s Hugh Son contributed reporting.

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