Jamie Dimon has been at the helm of JPMorgan Chase since before the financial crisis — and the board doesn’t want him going anywhere.
As a “special award” on Wednesday, the JPMorgan Chase board granted the billionaire CEO a trove of new stock options worth an estimated $50 million.
But to get the money, Dimon has to stick around as CEO at least five more years and won’t be able to sell the shares until 10 years from now. Also, Dimon will only make money if he can hike the share price higher.
For Dimon, who is worth an estimated $1.8 billion according to Forbes, a $50 million reward might not be significant from a monetary standpoint. But people close to the bank emphasize its the thought that counts.
“It’s symbolic that the board wants Dimon to stay around,” Wells Fargo analyst Mike Mayo told The Post. “Everyone always asks Jamie what he wants to do and ultimately it’s the view of the board… and the board has spoken with this move.”
Dimon, 65, has said he has no plans to go anywhere and that he will stay on for at least another five years. Still, a recent health scare brought a renewed focus to succession planning. In March 2020, Dimon had emergency heart surgery and was out of the office for several weeks.
“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 an SEC filing Wednesday.
Dimon’s profit on the 1.5 million options will be the difference between where the stock is now and where it is five years from now. Bank analysts and insiders estimate the stock could jump to $185 after a five-year period, awarding Dimon $50 million.
In May, Marianne Lake and Jennifer Piepszak were named co-heads of the mega-bank’s consumer lending and community banking businesses, effectively launching a contest between the two women in a race to succeed Dimon.
But if the board has their way, it doesn’t appear either woman will be getting the coveted role of CEO anytime soon.
Its statement also highlighted “strong performance under Mr. Dimon’s stewardship since 2005, his exemplary leadership, and his significant contributions to the firm’s success during his tenure.”
Insiders add the board has been wanting to publicly show their appreciation for Dimon — but decided to wait until COVID fears abated and a sense of normalcy returned to Wall Street.
It’s been a year of eye-popping earnings for the largest US bank. JPMorgan Chase more than doubled its quarterly profit and hauled in close a $12 billion profit in the second quarter, the bank reported last week.
Under Dimon, the longest-serving CEO of a major Wall Street bank, the share price has soared 20 percent since the beginning of the year. Over the last five years, the price of shares has surged 136 percent to its current value around $150 a share.