JPMorgan gives Jamie Dimon special stock option bonus to keep him CEO

JPMorgan gives Jamie Dimon special stock option bonus to keep him CEO

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.

The 65-year-old Dimon was awarded 1.5 million stock appreciation rights, a form of options contracts 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.

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

Dimon 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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