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London's best paid banker just got a 2% pay rise

Jes Staley, CEO of Barclays, can but watch and weep. While Staley earned around £3.4m ($4.5m) for managing the entirety of the Barclays group in 2018, including a salary of £2.4m and a bonus of which 62% was deferred, JPMorgan just revealed that it paid Daniel Pinto - the London-based head of its corporate and investment bank - $22.5m for 2019, five times as much. And most of Pinto's pay is likely to be in cash.

JPMorgan hasn't yet broken out the structure of Pinto's 2019 pay - that will come in April/May when it issues its proxy report. However, last year's proxy revealed that Pinto was a big beneficiary of European rules dictating that bonuses must be no more than twice as big as salaries. To avoid falling foul of this European pay ruling, JPMorgan paid Pinto $7.6m in a cash 'allowance' alongside his $621k salary. Only 68% of Pinto's 2018 package took the form of restricted stock. 

It's not like this if you work for JPMorgan in America. U.S.-based CEO Jamie Dimon has to wait for his pay. Dimon earned $31.5m for 2019. A regulatory filing yesterday revealed that Dimon received 95% of his pay in stock. That stock 'cliff-vests' at the end of three years if certain performance criteria are met, and must then be held for another two years after that. Dimon's cash salary for 2019 was $1.5m, a level at which it's been fixed since 2017.

On this basis, Pinto looks pretty fortunate. JPMorgan said Pinto's pay rose 2% last year, from $22m to $22.5m, and - presuming that his pay is structured similarly to 2018 - he should get around $8.4m of that in readily available cash.

In an interview with Financial News this week Pinto said JPMorgan's London bankers have benefitted from his presence because he's a local member of the management committee who can guard against overreaction to European events. He might want to add that he also benefits personally from being in Europe, where is compensation is far more immediately accessible than if he were in New York receiving a big stock bonus along with other senior executives at the bank.

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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