On Deadline: ABA Chairman Not Among The Underserved
This year is turning out to be a very good one for Harris Simmons and his banking company, Zions Bancorp, which he heads as president and CEO. When Zions' Board, with Simmons as its chairman, declared a 36-cents a share dividend Monday, it meant more than $180,000 in quarterly dividends for Simmons on the 500,000 shares he owns. With last year's acquisition of Amegys Bancorp in Texas, Simmons, who is chairman of the American Bankers Association, has built Zions, once the bank of the Mormon Church, into a western powerhouse with $43-billion in assets operating 450 branches in 10 states.
Profits were up again 25% in the first quarter and the bank regularly reports a return-on-average assets of 1.3% or better, first-rate in the industry. Over the past year, Zions stock has gone from $66.65 a share to over $85 a share, before settling Wednesday at $80.71, boosting the value of Simmons' and his family's 2.7 million shares by almost $40 million, to over $210 million. Last year, Zions paid Simmons almost $3 million, according to documents filed with the SEC.
That included a salary of $750,000; long-term incentive plan award of $858,621; bonus of $480,000, other compensation of $92,680; and 53,000 options currently "in the money" to the tune of almost $530,000.