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January 27, 2014

Dimon’s pay represents board’s own whale of a fail

The author [Antony Currie] is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

“Jamie Dimon’s bonus represents another whale of a fail for JPMorgan. The board’s decision to give its chairman and chief executive a 73 percent raise, to $20 million, is unjustifiable after last year’s performance. Shareholders should have a loud say against this pay – and lead director Lee Raymond.

“For starters, Dimon’s pay increased far faster than did the company’s stock. JPMorgan’s shares were up a third, just keeping pace with U.S. universal banking rivals. Core earnings also weren’t anything to brag about. At $42 billion, before taxes and provisions and after adjusting for one-off items, according to Citigroup analysts, that represented a 2.4 percent decline from 2012.

“Directors weren’t convincing with their rationale either. Gaining market share is only good if it comes with more profit. Improving customer satisfaction is encouraging, but an inadequate metric on which to base a pay raise. Trying to deflect the legal bills by blaming much of it on pre-acquisition Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns ignores the fact that Dimon signed those deals. Claiming the bank has improved controls “under Mr Dimon’s stewardship” is plain laughable. Regulators forced them on him.”

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Read full Reuters article here

 
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