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Morning Coffee: The art of leaving a banking job that pays $24m. The cost of protecting Jamie Dimon

Most people in banking are working towards a “number” – a certain net worth when they will retire. Goldman Sachs Chairman/CEO Lloyd Blankfein’s pay last year alone was $24m. Realistically, he probably flew past his number years ago. Blankfein’s continued employment suggests that the number is immaterial and it’s more about the love of the job.

Blankfein said that his wife doesn’t think he should step down, and neither does he – for now.

“The government doesn’t seem that available for me and I’m not sure I want to die at my desk, so that creates a problem,” Blankfein said. “I don’t think I’m destined to leave because I’m finding something else attractive, I just think I’m going to have to have the discipline to leave when I want to stay.”

If leaving before you’re ready is a good thing then it might even be a good thing to be made redundant. That might soon become a reality for some Goldman FICC traders.

Goldman, for decades Wall Street’s dominant commodities trading firm, has lost its place among the top three banks in the sector for the first time, according to research firm Coalition.

Separately, being in the public eye can be dangerous, and Wall Street CEOs are not the most universally beloved human beings on the planet. Hence, J.P. Morgan Chase chairman/CEO Jamie Dimon gets a big protection allowance.

Dimon’s total 2017 compensation of $28.3m included perks such as personal use of corporate aircraft ($74k), personal use of cars ($30k) and the cost of “residential and related security” ($48.3k). But the bulk of his pay came in stock awards ($21.5m), bumped up after a year of record annual net income of $26.5bn, excluding the effects of the tax reform, on record revenues of $104bn, according to the FT.

Dimon earned as much in a day as the typical employee at his bank took home in the whole of last year – 364 times the median employee, who received $77,799, including firm-paid benefits – putting him near the top of big bank CEO pay.

In comparison, Citigroup CEO Mike Corbat, whose pay of $17.8m last year was 369 times the median worker, and Dimon’s protégé Charlie Scharf, Bank of New York Mellon’s newish CEO, is on a $20m pay package, 354 times the average worker, according to Autonomous Research. It is unclear how much Corbat’s and Scharf’s security detail costs, but they were likely less expensive than Dimon’s, especially since he became an adviser to President Trump.

Dimon now owns 9.76m J.P. Morgan Chase shares – a stake worth more than $1.1bn at today’s prices.


UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti, who brought home $14.9m last year, says “there has been a very euphoric start of the year” but added that the rest of 2018 will likely be calmer – and thus less profitable for banks' trading divisions. (Financial News)

Here’s who secured Wall Street bragging rights in every key banking business in 2017. (Business Insider)

Morgan Stanley plans to add 80 jobs in Paris after Brexit and transfer 200 London-based bankers to its Frankfurt hub. (Reuters)

Just a month after Deutsche Bank announced job cuts, the German bank promoted more than 10 London bankers and traders to MD. (Financial News)

A top British bank executive called one of the City watchdog’s regulatory officials a “little lady” during a recent visit. (The Telegraph)

Former Isda chair Keith Bailey left Barclays at the end of January. (

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley investment bankers are helping a client cash in on one of the greatest venture-capital investments ever. (Bloomberg)

The hedge fund LMR Partners hired J.P. Morgan and Goldman traders as PMs. (HFMWeek)

Citigroup became the first Wall Street bank to create gun-control policies after the massacre in Parkland, Fla. (New York Times)

A Comcast-Blackstone-Bain-led group bought the Weather Channel in 2008 for about $3.5bn and just sold it to a comedian for $300m. (Bloomberg)

Europe’s new data protection regulation presents unique challenges for blockchain businesses. (Bloomberg)

A looming regulatory rebuke for one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges is giving Bitcoin investors the jitters. (Bloomberg)

Why haven’t more Silicon Valley firms moved to Texas yet? The latter has a low cost of living and a rich tech history, but it lacks California's startup culture. (Bloomberg)

Mexico is an insider-trading paradise where no one worries about going to prison. (Bloomberg)

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Photo credit: Getty Images

AUTHORDan Butcher US Editor

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