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Bankers Enjoy Rewards But Run Risks as Pay Jumps

Bank bosses enjoyed nifty bonuses in fiscal 2011, even as their stocks languished. Those trends typify the balancing act that banks and their boards face in setting pay.

Ken Feinberg on the Role of Corporate Governance in Regulating Executive Compensation

The former Tarp special master calls for a "sea change" in how banks and other corporations determine pay.

Succession Planning Becomes Job No. 1 for Bank Boards

"There probably isn't a hotter topic in financial services today" than who will take over when the boss steps down. So says Korn/Ferry International's Eric Pikus.

Ken Feinberg on How Banks Can Protect Against a Pay Backlash

The former Tarp pay master urges banks to head off anger over executive compensation by voluntarily complying with pay standards laid out by regulators.

Ken Feinberg on Risks Banks Face from Rising Executive Pay

Banks that guarantee paydays ought to beware of a political and regulatory backlash. So warns the former executive compensation overseer for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

  • Big Earners, Smaller Banks
  • Big Earners
Big Earners, Smaller Banks

Median pay for CEOs at banks with less than $20 billion of assets was less than a tenth of the median amount for bosses at banks with more than $100 billion of assets in American Banker's 2012 compensation survey. Growth in pay from 2010 was roughly parallel between the two groups, however. Here are some of the most richly rewarded chiefs among the smaller banks. Pay data and ratings of the banks' pay practices are provided by GMI Ratings, a governance watchdog. Figures are for 2011.

William Cooper, TCF Financial

Base salary: $1M
Total compensation: $8.9M
Change from 2010: 310%
Company ROAA: 0.6%
Total return on company stock: 19%
GMI compensation risk rating: High concern — Top executives eligible for discretionary cash bonuses, "which undermines a pay-for-performance philosophy"


Image: ThinkStock
The median increase in CEO pay was brisk at 11% in 2012, but slower than the median 16% increase in 2011. Click on column headers to sort.

Image: ThinkStock
Large bank CEOs rake in far more than their small bank peers, but large bank CEO pay represents a small fraction of total payroll expense.

Image: Thinkstock
The European trend to restrain CEO pay is gaining momentum in the U.S. It suggests the double-digit raises that American bank bosses have enjoyed the past few years may not last, writes Broc Romanek.

Rewriting the longstanding structures of corporate law and the roles and responsibilities of bank boards could create chaos in the global corporate and financial structures, writes John Alan James.

In Pictures

CEO pay rose a median 11% in 2012 among a group of 149 banks. Here are some of the most highly paid bank bosses of the year. Ratings of pay practices, on a scale from A to F, are provided by GMI Ratings.

In Pictures

Median pay for CEOs at banks with less than $20 billion of assets was about one-tenth of the median for bosses at banks with more than $100 billion of assets in our 2013 compensation survey.
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