JPMorgan cuts Dimon pay 50%, says CEO responsible for lapses

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon (Bloomberg) JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon (Bloomberg)

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon had his pay cut in half after a review of losses at the bank’s chief investment office found he bears responsibility for the blunders.

The CEO’s compensation for 2012 is $11.5 million, the New York-based bank said today on its website, compared with $23 million a year earlier. The 2012 sum includes a $1.5 million salary and $10 million of incentive compensation.

“Mr. Dimon bears ultimate responsibility for the failures that led to the losses in CIO and has accepted responsibility,” the company said after spending about eight months reviewing what Dimon, 56, has called “egregious mistakes” at the CIO.

JPMorgan is working to rebuild investors’ trust after losing more than $6.2 billion in last year’s first nine months on derivatives bets by U.K. trader Bruno Iksil, nicknamed the London Whale because his positions were so big. The debacle fueled legal claims against the company and its executives, prompted probes in the U.S. and abroad and this week led to the first regulatory sanctions, as banking watchdogs found internal-control “deficiencies.”

The CIO was supposed to manage excess cash while minimizing risk. The office used credit derivatives as part of a hedging strategy, and the trades became so large the bank couldn’t easily unwind them.

Board’s View

JPMorgan today released three documents tied to the bets, a report that outlined Dimon’s compensation, a 129-page review from a management task force and a statement from a review committee of the board of directors.

The dangers in the credit portfolio weren’t elevated to the board’s risk committee “as they should have been,” according to the panel’s report. As a result, “the board and the risk policy committee were not provided the opportunity to directly address them.”

Bank executives failed to ensure that the CIO’s risk controls kept pace with the increased complexity of the unit’s activities, the task force said. The leaders didn’t verify that the unit was well managed or had the same level of risk controls as elsewhere at the firm, according to the report.

“As a result, significant risk-management weaknesses developed within CIO that allowed the traders to pursue their flawed and risky trading strategies,” the bank said. “Senior firm management’s view of CIO had not evolved to reflect the increasingly complex and risky strategies CIO was pursuing in the synthetic credit portfolio; instead, they continued to view CIO as the manager of a stable, high-quality, fixed-income portfolio.”

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