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JPMorgan’s Macris Was Paid More Than His Boss Before Whale Loss

March 15, 2013

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM:US) paid Achilles Macris $31.8 million in the two years before the firm racked up at least $6.2 billion of losses on a portfolio he oversaw, more than his boss Ina Drew and among the most at the bank.

Macris’s total compensation was $14.5 million for 2011 and about $17.3 million for 2010, according to a presentation in the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report released yesterday. Drew, the former chief investment officer who lost her job because of the bad trades, forfeited her pay for those two years, a total of $29 million.

Macris, a Greek national and U.S. citizen, was behind the expansion into credit trading at the chief investment office, which approved his “new business initiative” in May 2006, according to the report. That led to the creation of a “synthetic credit portfolio” that caused last year’s losses tied to Bruno Iksil, the derivatives trader dubbed the London Whale for the size of his position in the market.

Drew, 56, is scheduled to testify today before the Senate panel, discussing the loss in her first public appearance since her May 14 exit. JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, has said that it recovered about two years of pay from the traders who oversaw the money-losing bets.

Macris, 51, was co-head of capital markets at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, and joined JPMorgan in 2006 to be the senior executive at the CIO in London. Javier Martin-Artajo, a Spaniard who ran Dresdner’s credit-derivatives trading, joined JPMorgan a year later and worked for Macris in London.

Biggest Earners

Martin-Artajo, who was Iksil’s boss, was paid about $11 million for 2011 and $12.8 million for 2010, according to the Senate subcommittee’s report. Iksil was awarded $6.76 million for 2011 and $7.32 million for 2010.

Macris, Martin-Artajo and Iksil, who all left JPMorgan in July, were among the most highly paid employees at the company and had their compensation reviewed by the firm’s operating committee and approved by Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, according to the report.

Internal bank data show that “they were compensated at levels that were at the top range of, or better than, the best investment bank employees,” the report states.

JPMorgan recorded 41 days of trading losses last year as it worked to stabilize bets tied to credit derivatives built by the London-based traders. The board cut Dimon’s 2012 pay by 50 percent to $11.5 million, according to a report in January saying he “bears ultimate responsibility for the failures that led to the losses.”

Macris, Martin-Artajo, Iksil and Julien Grout, who worked for Iksil, declined the Senate subcommittee’s requests for interviews and couldn’t be subpoenaed because they’re based outside the U.S., according to the report.

To contact the reporters on this story: Christine Harper in New York at Laura Marcinek in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at

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