JPMorgan investors give Dimon a rare rebuke and protest a $53 million bonus

Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive officer of JP Morgan Chase & Co., testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on Megabank Accountability at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on April 10, 2019.

Almond Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon received a rare rebuke on Tuesday after shareholders rejected a massive hold bonus announced by the bank last year.

Just 31% of investors who attended the New York-based bank’s annual meeting supported the $52.6 million bounty that was part of Dimon’s 2021 compensation package.

The bonus, in the form of 1.5 million options for Dimon to exercise in 2026, should keep the CEO and chairman at the helm of JPMorgan for another five years. According to bank spokesman Joe Evangelisti, the estimated value, which was set last year, will vary and depend on the bank’s share price appreciation.

“The special award was extremely rare — the first for Mr. Dimon in more than a decade — and reflected exemplary leadership and added incentive for a successful leadership transition,” said Evangelisti.

While the results of the so-called “Say on Pay” vote are non-binding, JPMorgan’s board said it takes investor feedback “seriously” and intends Dimon’s bonus to be a one-time event, he added.

The rejection marked the first time JPMorgan’s board of directors had faced a compensation rejection since the measures were introduced more than a decade ago. Dimon, 66, has run JPMorgan since 2006 and helped guide it through multiple crises and build it into the largest US bank by assets.

Earlier this month, proxy advisory firms like Glass, Lewis & Co recommended shareholders vote down Dimon and his top lieutenant’s pay package. Including the retention bonus, Dimon’s salary last year was $84.4 million.

“Excessive one-time awards to the CEO and COO amid weak relative performance amplify long-standing concerns about the company’s executive compensation program,” Glass Lewis said in his report.

Dimon and his other directors otherwise received support from investors, which is more typical of a shareholder vote at a large company.

Glass Lewis also said shareholders are rejecting compensation for rival CEO David Solomon, who runs Goldman Sachs and received a $30 million retention bonus in October. In this case, however, around 82% of Goldman shareholders voted for management. JPMorgan investors give Dimon a rare rebuke and protest a $53 million bonus

Jane Marczewski

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