James Dimon, who prefers to go by much less formal Jamie, is, beyond any doubt, one of the most influential figures in the American banking and finance industry. A long-time CEO of JPMorgan Chase, the US's largest bank in terms of assets, Dimon made it a crucial backstop in the U.S. financial system, an impressive feat on its own even if you do not account for his earlier success in creating Citigroup, the third-largest bank in the country. With an impressive track record of nearly four decades of experience in senior executive positions at the US leading financial institutions, including the board of directors at the Federal Reserve Bank, it's quite a no-brainer that Dimon isn't living from paycheck to paycheck. However, Jamie Dimon's net worth — the banker joined the three commas club as early as 2015 — stands out even among his peers, as there are few billionaires among bank CEOs, and even fewer among those who didn't found a company or inherit a fortune.
So, how exactly did Jamie Dimon build his gargantuan fortune? Read on to learn more about Dimon's finance career, education, personal life, and net worth.
Education and early career
Born March 13, 1956, to a family of Greek immigrants (his grandfather changed the family name from Papademetriou to Dimon), young Jamie grew immersed in the world of finance, as both Dimon's father and grandfather worked as stockbrokers at Shearson, while his mother, Nancy Dimon, was as a personnel manager at a brokerage firm. Born and raised in Queens, New York, Dimon attended the all-boys Browning School and later went on to obtain an undergraduate degree from Tufts University, where he majored in psychology and economy.
After graduating summa cum laude, Dimon worked briefly worked in management consulting at Boston Consulting Group before he enrolled in Harvard Business School, where he received his MBA in 1982. Upon graduation, Dimon received offers from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Lehman Brothers, but turned them down on the advice of his old mentor Sandy Weill, for whom he worked earlier at Shearson during the summer break at Tufts. Weill invited the promising finance whiz kid to join him as an assistant at American Express, promising priceless experience and lots of "fun." It also didn't hurt that Jamie's father, Theodore Dimon, was at the time the executive vice president at American Express.
Dimon followed Weill from American Express in 1985, becoming his Chief Financial Officer at the consumer finance company Commercial Credit when he was just 30 years old, way ahead of the industry average of 54 for the role. After taking over Commercial Credit from its previous owner, Control Data, Dimon and Weill went on a mergers and acquisitions spree, eventually forming a giant financial services conglomerate, Citigroup, in 1998. The same year, Dimon left Citigroup when Weill asked him to resign, with the source of disagreement being unclear and subject to different rumors (see FAQ section for more details).
“When I was fired from Citi... I was totally surprised,” Dimon said on the July 15 episode of the “Coffee with The Greats” podcast. But “I shouldn’t have been. There were a lot of tell-tale signs, but I missed them at the time.”
Tenure at JPMorgan Chase & Co
After falling out with Weill, Dimon sold the Citi shares he owned, netting some $110 million, and took a year off from the industry, spending his leisure time reading biographies of American leaders and boxing. He interviewed for various positions at many companies, including Amazon and Home Depot, until in 2000 he accepted the position of CEO at the Chicago-based Bank One, then the US fifth-biggest lender.
After Bank One was acquired by JPMorgan Chase in 2004, Dimon took the role of the president and COO, and in two years advanced to the position of a CEO in a combined company.
Under Dimon's leadership, JPMorgan Chase weathered the 2008 financial crisis relatively well, largely due to the CEO's move to unload $12 billion of subprime mortgages in 2006, which cushioned the blow from the crash. Using the same strategy of aggressive acquisitions that he refined during his time at Commercial Credit, Dimon was able to make JPMorgan America's biggest lender in terms of market capitalization value, surpassing Bank of America and Citigroup.
When Dimon just started his tenure as JPMorgan CEO on January 1, 2006, the bank's publicly traded stock was priced at around $40 per share. At the time of writing, $JPM is trading at $175, a 350% increase as per data from TradingView. By comparison, an S&P 500 index grew 295% in the same timeframe.
What is Jamie Dimon's net worth?
With his personal wealth valued at $2 billion at the time of writing, Jamie Dimon is no stranger to the Forbes richest list. As the leading business executive and banker, it comes as no surprise that Dimon’s net worth is largely tied to his stake in JPMorgan, where he's been chief executive officer since the end of 2005.
Currently, Forbes puts Jamie Dimon's net worth at $2 billion. In a Form 8-K filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in October 2023, JPMorgan disclosed that Dimon and his family hold about 8.6 million shares worth $1.2 billion and plan to sell one million shares, which was his first sale of JPMorgan shares during the tenure at the company. Dimon also has unvested Performance Share Units relating to 561,793 shares and Stock Appreciation Rights relating to 1.5 million shares.
At the time, Dimon's offloading of shares sparked rumors about his nearing retirement — the JPMorgan stellar CEO is 67 years old and has already faced two major health crises, throat cancer in 2014 that was successfully treated with radiation and chemotherapy, and a tear in his aorta that required emergency heart surgery in 2020. Dimon, however, refuted the rumors of him getting ready to hand over the reins, telling journalists that he plans to remain CEO for "three and a half" years more.
If Dimon's health remains good, he is expected to stay as a CEO until 2026 when a chunk of his stock compensation package vests. As the bank indicated in its filing, Dimon could also keep his seat as a chairman past 2026.
Jamie Dimon's political leanings
Dimon is a frequent donor to the Democratic Party, known to have a close relationship with the Obama administration, including former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Despite his Democratic leanings, Dimon recently described himself as “barely a Democrat,” and praised former President Donald Trump’s stance on the economy, taxes, and immigration.
In response to Biden's warning about the risks to American democracy posed by Trump and MAGA Republicans, Dimon argued that the disdain for MAGA is going to hurt Biden’s election campaign.
Democrats “are basically scapegoating them, [saying] that you are like him,” Dimon said from the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. “I don’t think they’re voting for Trump because of his family values,” he added.
Jamie Dimon's Bitcoin bashing
Following Warren Buffett's lead, Jamie Dimon took a decidedly anti-Bitcoin stance, slamming the biggest cryptocurrency as "worthless," "hyped-up fraud," and "a pet rock." On the other hand, the JPMorgan Chase boss recognizes the potential of blockchain technology, especially when it comes to self-executing programs on the public blockchain such as Ethereum, the so-called smart contracts.
Speaking of smart contract blockchains, Dimon remarked that these are cryptocurrencies "which may actually do something," naming tokenization, moving data, and selling real estate for it as some of the potential use cases.
“And then there’s one which does nothing,” Dimon said of Bitcoin, adding, “I don’t want to tell you what to do. So my personal advice would be don’t get involved. … But it’s a free country.”
Not even the proliferation of Bitcoin ETFs that cemented it as an asset class for the US investors after the landmark SEC approval could change Dimon's mind: when asked about what he thinks of BlackRock CEO Larry Fink's pivot to bitcoin, he said that he simply doesn't care and would like to stop talking about the subject.
“I don’t know what he [Larry Fink] would say about blockchain versus currencies that do something versus bitcoin that does nothing,” Dimon added. “But you know, this is what makes a market. People have opinions, and this is the last time I’m ever going to state my opinion.”
Honors and awards
Over the decades in the banking industry, Dimon has amassed not just enormous wealth but an equally impressive collection of accolades. In 2010, he was named the Banker of the Year by the American Banker magazine for his valuable input into the proliferation of US banking & finance. In 2011, Fortune named Dimon Businessperson of the Year by Fortune magazine for his efforts in aiding the post-crisis recovery of the industry. In 2019, the Financial Times honored Dimon as an Outstanding Alumnus for his tireless leadership in the business world.
Additionally, Jamie Dimon appeared numerous times on Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world. His other honors include the Americas Society Gold Medal, the National Association of Corporate Directors Directorship 100, the Intrepid Salute Award, and France's Legion of Honour.
When did Jamie Dimon become the CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co?
Jamie Dimon became the CEO of JPMorgan Chase in January 2006 through JPMorgan's acquisition of Bank One, where Dimon served as CEO since 2000.
How much JPMorgan stock does Jamie Dimon own?
In a Form 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in Oct. 2023, JPMorgan disclosed that Dimon and his family hold approximately 8.6 million shares, worth $1.2 billion, and plan to sell one million shares for tax and portfolio rebalancing purposes. In addition, Dimon also holds unvested Performance Share Units relating to 561,793 shares and Stock Appreciation Rights relating to 1,500,000 shares, subject to the terms and conditions of each grant.
Who is Jamie Dimon wife?
Jamie Dimon's wife is Judith Kent, whom he met while attending Harvard Business School and married after graduating in 1983. Curiously, Judith Kent was the one to foot the bill on the first date with Dimon as he didn't have any money on him at the time. However, Judith's small act of charity fully paid off on her 15th wedding anniversary with Dimon, who gifted her a stock certificate valued at the time at one-third of his net worth.
The pair has three adult daughters, namely Julia (born 1985), Laura (born 1987), and Kara Leigh (born 1989).
What did Jamie Dimon do before JPMorgan?
Before the start of his tenure at JPMorgan, Jamie Dimon already had nearly three decades of banking experience and earned his recognition among industry professionals for orchestrating a series of mergers and acquisitions that eventually led to the emergence of the financial services conglomerate Citigroup. Dimon left Citigroup in 1998 after being fired by CEO Sandy Weill, who was also his long-time mentor and colleague. One year later, Dimon joined Bank One as CEO, which in 2004 merged with JP Morgan Chase, where Dimon stayed as the president and chief operating officer of the combined company. He was eventually named CEO in 2006.
Why was Jamie Dimon fired from Citigroup?
In 1998, Dimon was fired from his position as Chief Financial Officer of Citigroup after clashing with the then-CEO Sandy Weill over his role at the company. According to Weill's confession to the New York Times, the main point of the disagreement was that Dimon wanted to become the CEO and Weill wasn't yet ready to step down from the role. However, another account claims that the real reason behind Dimon's departure was his request to be treated as equal by Weill. One way or another, it's highly unlikely that one day we could be 100% sure what caused Dimon's rapid dismissal from Citigroup, as the bankers are notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to their internal workings.
Who is the highest-paid bank CEO?
In 2023, S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis reported JP Morgan Chase as having the highest CEO pay ratio among the banks included in the ranking. JP Morgan Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon's compensation package in 2023 was $34.5 million — 393x the $88,730 median employee salary at the company — and included a base salary of $1.5 million plus a $33 million bonus.
Throughout the years, Jamie Dimon routinely made it to the top of the highest-paid American CEOs, which often makes him a target of scathing criticism, as many see Dimon's gargantuan compensation packages unjustified in light of tepid relative performance. Dimon's 2023 pay of $34.5 million, however lavish it may seem, initially also included a $50 million special award, but such a plan was eventually tossed by the company's board after the shareholders complained about his take-home pay of $84.4 million in 2021. By contrast, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon each received a total compensation of $35 million in 2021.
If you would like to learn more about the net worth of other finance & crypto personalities, take a look at our articles on Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum, Kevin O'Leary of Shark Tank, and Michael Saylor of Microstrategy.