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Executive Compensation Special Report

With nearly a third of bank tellers on public assistance nationwide, labor advocates are pushing banks to increase pay for workers at the low end of the spectrum.

Median CEO pay at the four largest banks rose 16.7% last year compared to 2012, according to governance watchdog GMI Ratings. In comparison, median pay for the other banks with at least $50 billion in assets fell 17%. Here are the industry's highest-compensated CEOs.

Median pay for CEOs at banks with less than $20 billion of assets typically pales in comparison with the executive compensation at larger institutions. Still, some CEOs at smaller banks are richly rewarded. Figures, provided by GMI Ratings and SNL Financial, are for 2013.

Banker compensation trends were mixed last year, particularly among the nation's largest institutions. Average CEO compensation at the nation's four largest banks rose 10% in 2013, compared to a year earlier.

Bank boards are busier than ever, but that's no excuse for putting succession planning on the back burner. The brutal reality for financials is that at a time when the cost of complacency is rising, the size of the fix is widening.

Old National Bancorp says it learned its lesson from the recent defection of some important lenders from a bank it agreed to buy last fall, and it incorporated those in structuring its deal announced this week for United Bancorp.

Bryn Mawr Bank in Pennsylvania starts every acquisition discussion the same way: the top talent agrees to stay or Bryn Mawr is not interested in pursuing a deal. It's a lesson for anyone considering buying or selling a bank.
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