NEW YORK, May 17 (Reuters) - In an unusual rebuke for Jamie
Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co, shareholders on
Tuesday clearly disapproved of the special $52.6 million stock
option award directors gave him last year to stay on the job for
at least five more years.
In an advisory say-on-pay referendum, only 31% of votes cast
endorsed JPMorgan executive payments for 2021, according to a
preliminary count announced at the company's annual meeting.
Because of the special award this year two major advisory
firms, from which investors take their cue when voting, had
recommended "no" votes on pay.
Institutional Shareholder Services Inc and Glass Lewis & Co
criticized Dimon's options as lacking performance criteria for
In eight of the last 12 years JPMorgan had won approval from
more than 90% of votes cast in its annual compensation ballots.
Dimon, 66, will keep the award, but such votes are closely
followed as a test of investors' attitudes toward executive pay
and what payouts they will tolerate.
Average support for pay packages at S&P 500 companies was
88.3% in 2021, down from 89.6% in 2020 and 90% in 2019,
according to consulting firm Semler Brossy.
In response to the vote, JPMorgan directors pointed out
through a spokesman the special award was extremely rare and the
first for Dimon in more than a decade.
Directors said before the vote that the special award would
not be recurring and "reflects the board's desire for him to
continue to lead the firm for a further significant number of
The board said before the vote it made the award in
consideration of Dimon's performance, his leadership since 2005
and "management succession planning amidst a highly competitive
landscape for executive leadership talent."
If Dimon, a billionaire, keeps working at the bank for five
years the options will vest, although he could still receive
them if he leaves to work for the government or to run for
Stock from the options must be held until 10 years after
The award was separate from Dimon's usual annual pay
package, which was up 10% to $34.5 million for 2021.
The board prevailed in its recommendations on all other
issues. All directors, including Dimon, were re-elected with
more than 92% of the votes cast, according to preliminary
Two shareholder proposals on fossil fuel financing received
only 11% and 15% of votes cast, consistent with weak support
recently for initiatives at Bank of America, Citigroup
and Wells Fargo, as well as at big oil companies.
(Reporting by David Henry in New York. Additional reporting by
Noor Zainab Hussain in Bangalore.
Editing by Nick Zieminski and Chris Reese)