JPMorgan chief boosts wealth advisers’ pay in call from Windsor Castle

Largest US bank is revamping its 20-year-old pay structure for its traditional broker business

Jamie Dimon had two surprises when he dialled into a conference call with a group of JPMorgan Chase and Co’s wealth advisers: he was at Windsor Castle and he was boosting their compensation.

The largest US bank is revamping its 20-year-old pay structure for JPMorgan Advisors, a traditional broker business that a few months ago said it aimed to double staff to about 1,000.

Mr Dimon, JPMorgan Chase's chief executive, told staff the new system is coming, before a meeting with Britain's Queen Elizabeth, sources said. The changes aim to encourage advisers to stay with the bank.

“We are making this the best place to build your practice and serve your clients for your whole career,” Mr Dimon told staff on the call.

“It’s not just hiring more advisers and updating compensation. It’s the creation of concierge services, improved products, investing in talent and marketing.”

The move comes amid pressure on Wall Street to boost pay as the pandemic increases client demand and business, drives up profits and forces financial industry leaders to ensure their workforces are not vulnerable to poaching by competitors.

JPMorgan said last week its expenses would probably climb in 2022 as it paid more.

The overhauled compensation structure is tied to revenue production, according to a memo sent to staff on Tuesday.

It features a length-of-service award for high performers, with additional revenue to be paid in restricted stock units.

Another component, also paid in RSUs, will reward advisers with high flows from retail clients.

JPMorgan absorbed the brokerage unit from Bear Stearns during the 2008 financial crisis. It was folded into a newly created unit under Kristin Lemkau in 2019.

This year, JPMorgan chose Phil Sieg, a former Bank of America executive, to lead the business.

Updated: October 19th 2021, 9:44 PM