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JPMorgan’s CEO gets pay bump despite 2013 legal woes

Decision could give clues to the inner motives of the big bank

Despite a 2013 that featured legal woes to the tune pf billions of dollars, venerable bank JPMorgan Chase has decided to hike the salary of its CEO, Jamie Dimon. On Jan. 23 the board of the bank voted to increase Dimon’s compensation package and affirmed that it would do so. While details of the package have not been released as of yet, the move comes after the same board cut Dimon’s salary in half last year, dropping it to $11.5 million.

That cut was the result of the then developing “London Whale” scandal, and the decision to cut salary arguably demonstrated serious consideration the banks misgivings. The New York Times reports that executives close to the matter said this discussion, which was also heated at times, was also a tone-setting exercise consistent with JPMorgan’s current standing.

Those who opposed the raise are said to have argued that the close to $20 billion in banking fines was reason enough to keep Dimon’s compensation flat. But dissenters are said to have been in the minority.

Those in favor of bumping up the pay pointed to Dimon’s handling and stewardship of JPMorgan’s legal troubles as an entitlement to more money. They cite his candor and commitment to striking a deal with Attorney General Eric Holder in closing a number of Department of Justice probes as justification. Dimon also played the diplomat in JPMorgans investigation regarding the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, when he reached Manhattan-based U.S. Attorney Preet Bahara.

While Dimon is not expected to be bumped back to the $23.1 million he was making in 2011, the decision to increase his compensation may show that JPMorgan backs his efforts over the last year. It could also indicate how JPMorgan sees itself in the light of increased government scrutiny and public ire against banks.

Dimon reportedly said during an interview this week “I think a lot of it was unfair.”


For more on the legal battles JPMorgan has faced, check out these stories:

JPMorgan Chase finalizes deal with DOJ

Feds expected to slap JPMorgan with fines in connection with Madoff scam

Post $13B-settlement, JPMorgan’s GC questions big bank fines

Executive Editor

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Chris DiMarco

Chris DiMarco, Executive Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, has a background in multimedia production with previous involvement in projects in which he developed and created content...

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