JPMorgan Chase

Annual Meeting: May 19

Pay for JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon increased from $11.7 million to $27.7 million this year. That’s a 103% increase, and it caused both Glass Lewis and ISS both to recommend votes against the pay package, a rare event. A big part of the problem: a new cash bonus this year of $7.4 million.

The Wall Street Journal notes ISS’s concern that the board has “significantly weakened” the performance basis the pay by reintroducing a cash bonus “without compelling rationale.”

Like many companies who face vote no recommendations JPMorgan issued an additional filing at the SEC in an attempt to counter those arguments. I was struck by defensiveness of tone in the company’s opposition to a shareholder proposal asking that the positions of Chair and CEO be separated. In fact, more space is devoted to that proposal than to the next three combined. Could Jamie Dimon be concerned that a truly independent chair wouldn’t approve of such pay practices?

There are other compensation proposals on the proxy statement, and the meeting next week is expected to be lively.