Morgan Stanley gives chief executive James Gorman a 6% pay hike to $35m

Increase leaves him primed to remain the highest-paid US bank boss for another year

James Gorman's revised package includes $1.5 million in salary and a $8.38 million cash bonus, Morgan Stanley said in a filing. Reuters
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Morgan Stanley increased chief executive James Gorman’s compensation to $35 million, leaving him poised to be the best-paid major US bank boss for another year.

The New York-based financial services company increased Mr Gorman’s pay 6 per cent for 2021, with the bank’s profitability climbing to a new high for a fourth straight year. His package includes $1.5m in salary and a $8.38m cash bonus, the firm said in a filing.

The vast majority is in the form of $25m in long-term awards, which pay out in shares and are partially tied to return on equity and shareholder-return targets.

On Thursday, JPMorgan Chase & Co announced a 10 per cent bump in pay for its chief, Jamie Dimon, lifting his pay to $34.5m.

Wall Street compensation is back in focus this year after the roaring run for banks through the pandemic lifted their fortunes and left their rainmakers poised for some of the biggest paydays in over a decade. What started out with bumps for the most junior ranks last year has percolated upward to the highest levels.

At Goldman Sachs Group, which also had a banner year, new pay awards have been piling up for its top brass.

Morgan Stanley is fresh off posting its most profitable year, with earnings of $15 billion on about $60bn of revenue. The firm has also been bulking up with acquisitions and closed its deal with Eaton Vance in March.

The bank’s stock has climbed 44 per cent since the start of 2021, giving the company a market capitalisation of about $175bn. That’s expanded the gap over Goldman to $55bn, the most in more than 20 years.

Last year, Mr Gorman vaulted above Mr Dimon as the best-paid chief executive of a major US bank.

Updated: January 22, 2022, 2:30 PM
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