What happened?
Jamie Dimon got a big raise last year -- sort of. JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) revealed that its high-profile CEO was compensated a total of $27 million for 2015, up a sturdy 35% from the previous year's $20 million. Most of that amount came in the form of performance-related, "restricted" stock, i.e. shares that can be sold only under certain conditions. Of the total $27 million, $20.5 million consists of this stock. The company also awarded him a $5 million cash bonus, while $1.5 million comprised his base salary. For 2014, Dimon's stock awards totaled $11.1 million, his cash bonus was $7.4 million, and his salary was the same at $1.5 million.

Does it matter?
Dimon's pay package will probably get the same kind of criticism that always seems to flow when a top bank CEO's compensation is revealed. A 35% hike sounds rich, but we should keep in mind that this came entirely from the ramped-up stock award, rather than cash from JPMorgan Chase's coffers. Also, it's worth remembering that fiscal 2015 was a smashing year for the company: It scored a new all-time high net profit of more than $24 billion (due to a great extent to cost cutting). Given these factors, we shouldn't expect the bank's stock to be roiled by the news.

Additionally, as far as shareholders are concerned, Dimon has delivered the goods as CEO. The bank's stock has seen its total return (i.e., share price appreciation plus dividends) rise around 60% since he took over at the end of 2005, quite impressive given that a full-blown financial crisis erupted not long after he started the job. Contrast that with the struggles of fellow banking incumbents Bank of America and Citigroup, the returns of which have slid by approximately 70% and 91%, respectively, across that stretch of time.

Neither Bank of America nor Citigroup have yet released the 2015 compensation amounts for their chief executives. For 2014, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan was paid the same base salary as Dimon ($1.5 million), and was given $11.5 million in stock, for a total of $13 million. Citigroup CEO John Corbat took home a similar amount, which consisted of $1.5 million in salary, and a cash bonus of roughly $4.7 million, with the remainder in stock.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.