Morgan Stanley CEO, James Gorman becomes the highest-paid bank executive in America following a 22% pay raise

James Gorman Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg
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James Gorman, the 62-year-old CEO of Morgan Stanley is now the highest-paid bank chief executive in the United States after a 22% increase in his 2020 total pay compared to 2019. Gorman earned a total of $33 million last year, the bank announced in a regulatory filing Friday.

Gorman’s pay bump places him above Jamie Dimon, CEO of the largest U.S bank JPMorgan Chase, who was paid a total of $31.5 million for his work in 2020, according to Bloomberg.

Gorman’s total compensation in 2020 included a base salary of $1.5 million, a cash bonus of roughly $7.9 million, deferred stock awards of roughly $7.9 million, and a performance-based stock award of $15.75 million that’s tied to certain equity- and shareholder-return targets, according to the report.

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The 22% pay increase for the Australian-American financier follows Morgan Stanley’s third consecutive year of record earnings. The bank posted a whopping annual earnings of $48.2 billion last year despite volatile markets caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Morgan Stanley’s equities trading revenue jumped 30% year-on-year to $2.5 billion in the last quarter of 2020, while its investment banking revenues surged 46% to $2.3 billion. The bank also finalized its $13 billion purchase of online trading platform E-Trade in October 2020.

“The firm produced a very strong quarter and record full-year results, with excellent performance across all three businesses and geographies,” CEO James Gorman said.

Gorman was among the major U.S bank chief executives who assured concerned employees of job security last year despite the pandemic. While many of its competitors including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Wells Fargo, laid off hundreds of employees, Morgan Stanley kept to its promise.

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