Jamie Dimon’s return to the top of the bank CEO compensation leaderboard was short-lived.
One day after JPMorgan Chase gave Dimon a 9.5% boost to a total of $34.5 million, Morgan Stanley delivered a 6% increase to its CEO, James Gorman, to give him $35 million for 2021 — enough to continue Gorman’s reign as the best-paid U.S.-based Wall Street bank chief for a second year.
Gorman’s compensation package, which Morgan Stanley disclosed Friday in a securities filing, breaks down to $1.5 million in base salary, an $8.375 million cash bonus, a $5.025 million deferred equity award and a $20.1 million performance-vested equity award that converts to shares only if the bank meets its goals for return on tangible common equity (ROTCE) and shareholder returns over three years.
Neither of those criteria would be a hurdle if all years were like 2021. The bank said Friday it boosted the ROTCE threshold tied to Gorman’s award to 16%; Morgan Stanley’s ROTCE in 2021 was 19.8%, compared with 15.2% in 2020. The bank also doubled its quarterly dividend in June.
Morgan Stanley’s compensation committee gave Gorman a $2 million boost over his 2020 package on the back of his "outstanding individual performance and record firm financial performance, including meeting or exceeding its two-year objectives announced in January of 2021, and executing on the next phase of transformational growth and shareholder value," the bank said Friday.
Morgan Stanley’s revenue jumped 23% — to $59.8 billion — in 2021 from a year earlier, according to The Wall Street Journal. Profit rose 37% to $15 billion, from about $11 billion, in the same time frame, Reuters reported.
The bank’s stock price jumped 43.2% in that time, from $68.53 to $98.16, Morgan Stanley said, adding that its market valuation grew to $174 billion. That total exceeds rival Goldman Sachs by roughly $55 billion — the widest margin in two decades, Bloomberg reported.
At least some of Morgan Stanley’s upward trajectory in 2021 can be attributed to its $7 billion acquisition of investment management firm Eaton Vance. That deal, announced in October 2020, closed in March.
Gorman, as of November, owned nearly 1.2 million shares of Morgan Stanley stock, worth approximately $117 million based on Friday’s closing price, the Financial Times reported, citing another recent bank filing.