Despite not having made it into the latest top 100 salary-based compensation rankings of US general counsel (GCs), the earning power of GCs based on stocks has again come to the fore after JPMorgan Chase & Co’s GC Stephen Cutler sold off 43,997 shares priced at $58.74, making Cutler $2.58m.
The move follows a similar transaction earlier this year by Cutler, in which he netted $2.41m after selling 43,997 of shares.
Cutler has overseen JPMorgan’s legal team during a turbulent time which saw large legal expenses of US$9.2bn in Q3, contributing to a loss of $400m for that quarter and a $13 billion settlement over mortgage-backed securities in November.
At the time of the bank’s Q3 results, Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive highlighted the issue: ‘While we had strong underlying performance across the businesses, unfortunately, the quarter was marred by large legal expense.’
Dimon added: ‘We continuously evaluate our legal reserves, but in this highly charged and unpredictable environment, with escalating demands and penalties from multiple government agencies, we thought it was prudent to significantly strengthen them.’
So far in 2014, the bank’s settlements include a $614 million agreement covering submitting false claims for US government guarantees.