JPMorgan hands boss Jamie Dimon million dollar 'special award' to stay at the bank

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Photo: Michel Euler/AFP via Getty Images
JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Photo: Michel Euler/AFP via Getty Images

Wall Street's richest boss has just got a little richer.

JPMorgan (JPM) has handed chief executive Jamie Dimon a multi-million dollar "special award" to incentivise him to stay at the bank for the foreseeable future.

In a filing, the bank said it was handing Dimon 1.5 million stock options in the form of "stock appreciation rights". Under the terms of the 10-year deal, Dimon will have the right to buy 1.5 million shares in the bank at $148.73 (£109.35). Dimon will have to wait until 2026 to exercise any options and will have to hold any shares he buys for at least a further five years.

The arrangement is likely to net tens of millions of dollars for Dimon, providing he can steer JPMorgan's share price higher. The US bank's stock has already risen just under a dollar since the option price was fixed, giving Dimon a paper profit of $1.47m on the options.

Dimon is already the highest paid chief executive on Wall Street, earning $31.6m last year, and has an estimated net worth of $1.8bn, according to Forbes.

JPMorgan said the unusual, one-off award was meant to encourage Dimon to stay running the bank "for a further significant number of years".

"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 amidst a highly competitive landscape for executive leadership talent," the bank said in a filing.

Dimon has run JPMorgan since 2005 and is the last remaining financial crisis-era chief executive on Wall Street. Shares in America's largest bank have rallied around 350% under Dimon's tenure and he has helped cement the bank as the dominant player in the post-crisis US banking landscape. Last year JPMorgan recorded the most profitable year of any bank globally in history.

In Tuesday's filing, JPMorgan praised Dimon's "exemplary leadership, and his significant contributions to the firm’s success during his tenure."

The special award follows chatter about Dimon's potential exit from the bank. CNBC reported that Dimon seriously considered running for president in 2020 and the 65-year-old underwent emergency heart surgery last year, prompting speculation about potential succession.

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