The gauntlet has officially been thrown down for Wall Street pay in 2023: JPMorgan Chase’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, has received his highest annual compensation package to date, a total of $36 million.
Dimon often ranks among the highest-paying names in banking and courtesy of JPMorgan’s record-breaking results for 2023, that trend doesn’t look set to change anytime soon.
In an SEC filing seen by Fortune, JPMorgan’s board approved a compensation increase from $34.5 million in 2022 to $36 million for 2023.
The salary package is made up of a $1.5 million base pay and $34.5 million in performance-based variable incentive compensation. Of that, $5 million will be paid in cash with the remaining $29.5 million awarded in performance share units (PSUs).
“The annual compensation for 2023 reflects Mr. Dimon’s stewardship of the firm, with growth across all of its market leading lines of business, record financial results and a fortress balance sheet,” the board wrote in the filing. “In addition, the firm successfully navigated and supported its clients and customers through the regional bank turmoil as well as completed the acquisition of First Republic.”
Dimon and JPMorgan executives have indeed had their hands full in 2023. As well as steering the ship through unsteady waters of inflation and rate pressures, the collapse of SVB in March threatened to send shockwaves through corporate America.
In May First Republic Bank also teetered and collapsed—the biggest victim at the time—but JPMorgan swooped in and acquired the majority of its assets and all of its deposits.
By second-quarter results conferences in July, the institution reported its net interest income (NII) was at a record high—up 44% including First Republic—on account of an increasing earning from what the bank earns on loans vs what it pays out in deposits.
More widely JPMorgan enjoyed a strong 2023, despite the economic headwinds.
A week ago the group reported full-year net profits of $49.6bn, up 32% from 2022, despite a slowdown in the final quarter when net income fell to $9.3 billion compared to $11 billion a year prior.
“Amid the significant challenges of the regional bank turmoil, ongoing, growing geopolitical tensions, global economic uncertainty, and elevated inflation and higher rates, under Mr. Dimon’s stewardship, the firm continued to serve its clients and customers around the world to advance economic growth, while investing in and executing on long-term strategic initiatives,” the firm added in the SEC filing posted this week.
Dimon has been at JPMorgan for 18 years, one of the longest tenures in the big banking sector, and has earned the title of billionaire with Forbes estimating his worth to be approximately $1.9 billion.
Dimon’s next steps
JPMorgan’s succession plan is one of the best-kept secrets in the industry, with Dimon long responding “five more years” if asked when he may move on.
In 2021 it seemed Dimon’s quip may finally be a serious one, after the board approved a one-off incentive package of $50 million to stay until at least 2026.
Even with the clock ticking down to T-minus two years on that agreement, Dimon has frequently signaled he has no plans to leave any time soon.
During the bank’s investor relations day in May, Dimon said: “I’m not going to change, I’m not going to play golf, I love my country, my company, my family.
“I can’t do this forever, I know that, but my intensity is the same. When I don’t have this kind of intensity, I should leave.”
Having raked in the highest profit of any American bank in history in 2023, Dimon’s intensity certainly shows no signs of faltering.
However, in the past, the CEO has faced questions of whether he’d consider a presidential run—a move billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman would like to see happen.
“I’ve never really believed I’m suited for it,” Dimon told The Economist in the summer of 2023, adding: “If you’re going to do that, you should practice. You don’t just say ‘Oh I’m going to run for office.’ There may be common skills between a CEO in terms of administration, management, leadership, but there are also non-common ones. You’re dealing with a whole bunch of different issues.”
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