Forget all the talk that Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, is planning to retire anytime soon. The firm just gave Dimon a “special award” of 1.5 million stock appreciation rights. This is a form of options contracts that Jamie Dimon can exercise in five years if the stock price rises and is said to be worth up to $50 million. But there is a catch: Dimon must stick around at the helm of JPMorgan Chase for those five years.
The options are not part of Mr. Dimon’s regular annual compensation and will not be awarded on a regularly recurring basis. Net shares delivered from the exercise of the options must be held until July 20, 2031, which coincides with the end of the ten-year term of the options.
The 65-year-old Jamie Dimon has been in charge of JPMorgan Chase since 2005. Forbes estimates his personal wealth at $.8 billion. Dimon is credited with leading JPMorgan Chase out of the mire following the 2008 financial crisis, turning the firm into a world banking power.
In May, Jewish Business News reported on how two women were being groomed as possible successors to Jamie Dimon who had been hinting at retirement. But now it seems that Marianne Lake and Jennifer Piepszak will need to wait a while before their firm has a new opening at the top. The two women were appointed to run the company’s consumer banking operations, in what was seen as a statement that one of them will someday lead the entire firm.
“This special award reflects the board’s desire for Mr. Dimon to continue to lead the firm for a further significant number of years,” said JPMorgan Chase in a regulatory filing. “In making the special award, the board considered the importance of Mr. Dimon’s continuing, long-term stewardship of the firm, leadership continuity, and management succession planning amid a highly competitive landscape for executive leadership talent.”
“It’s symbolic that the board wants Dimon to stay around,” Wells Fargo analyst Mike Mayo told The NY 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.”