Special to American Banker

WASHINGTON - After winning a crucial legislative battle with banks in 1998, credit unions awarded their top trade association executive with a 37% pay hike - the biggest reported by 10 leading financial services groups. With the increase, Daniel A. Mica, president of the Credit Union National Association, surpassed Donald G. Ogilvie, executive vice president of the American Bankers Association, according to the most recent tax returns the trade groups have filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

In 1998, Mr. Mica pulled in $696,000 while Mr. Ogilvie earned $657,000.

Mr. Mica's compensation included a performance bonus, according to CUNA chairman Dave Maus. The group also rewarded Mr. Mica with a separate incentive "for his outstanding leadership in our successful battle to pass the Credit Union Membership Access Act," Mr. Maus said.

That 1998 law overturned a decision the ABA won from the Supreme Court that limited credit union expansion.

Mr. Mica and Mr. Ogilvie were nowhere near the highest-paid financial services trade group leaders.

Robert E. Vagley, president of the American Insurance Association, and Carroll A. Campbell, president of the American Council of Life Insurers, were two highest-paid, at about $1.14 million each. They also ranked fifth and sixth among heads of the 405 trade groups ranked recently by National Journal.

"That's a lot of money," said Paul Belford, a principal at JDG Associates, a Rockville, Md., executive search firm that specializes in placing trade association executives. "But it is clear, to the [insurance] industry, having adequate and effective representation in Washington is extremely important."

American Banker reviewed the latest Form 990 filed by each of 10 leading financial trade associations. Because many associations request and receive deadline extensions, the most recent filings are not very recent. Still, they show that the average pay increase for trade association executives was 10%.

The third-largest paycheck went to Marc E. Lackritz, president of the Securities Industry Association, who earned $726,000, an 8% increase.

The former president of America's Community Bankers, Paul A. Schosberg, came in sixth with a compensation package of $452,000, down 6%. But that decline followed a 37% hike in 1997 that included a $70,000 bonus.

Anthony T. Cluff, former head of the Financial Services Roundtable, earned $427,097 in 1998, up 5%. Kenneth A. Guenther, executive vice president of the Independent Community Bankers of America, received a 10% raise in 1998 and a $50,000 bonus, bringing his pay in 1998 to $380,000.

Jeffrey P. Yates, the former executive vice president of Independent Insurance Agents of America, collected $335,000 in 1998, a 1% increase. Mr. Yates is now the group's chief executive officer for industry and state relations. Paul Equale is now chief executive officer, and he drew a $397,000 salary in 1998, up 22%.

And finally, Joe Belew, president of the Consumer Bankers Association, made $281,178 in 1998, up 4%.

Nine associations collectively spent $28.32 million on lobbying in 1998. CUNA, because its members are nonprofits, is not required to report lobbying expenses. The banking industry's 1998 fight in Congress over credit unions' ability to serve more people was a catalyst for increased spending on lobbying, along with groundwork for what became the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, which repealed barriers between the banking, securities, and insurance industries.

Here's a snapshot of each of the 10 groups' results for 1998:

American Bankers Association: Revenues increased 8%, to $54 million. The ABA continued to reduce its reliance on dues to 38% of revenues, down from 41%. Expenses totaled $49.6 million, up 1%. Lobbying costs rose 27%, to $4.9 million.

American Council of Life Insurers: Revenues increased 5%, to $43 million. Dues accounted for $31 million, or 91% of revenues. Expenses fell 4%, to $38.6 million. Lobbying costs were $7 million, up 69%.

America's Community Bankers: Revenues jumped 29%, to $24 million. The group reduced its reliance on dues, which made up 35% of revenues, down from 48% the previous year. Expenses dropped 3%, to $16.9 million. Lobbying costs grew 25.2%, to $2.29 million.

American Insurance Association: Excluding an extraordinary event in 1997, revenues rose slightly, to $24.8 million. Dues totaled $19.8 million. Expenses fell 4%, to $23 million. Lobbying costs totaled $3 million, up 5%.

Consumer Bankers Association: Revenues fell 4%, to $4.8 million. Dues were flat at about $2 million. Total expenses were up 2%, to $4.65 million. Lobbying costs increased 12%, to $886,000.

Credit Union National Association: Revenues were flat at $32.4 million. Dues made up slightly more than 25%. Expenses totaled $31.2 million, down 5%. CUNA does not have to report lobbying expenses, but its political action committee raised $800,000 - an 82% increase from the previous year.

Financial Services Roundtable: Revenues jumped 85%, to $9 million. Dues doubled to $8.4 million as fees were raised to create the Banking Industry Technology Secretariat. Expenses increased 76%, to $8.4 million, including a big jump in salary expenses, to $3 million. Lobbying costs fell 3%, to $1.26 million.

Independent Community Bankers of America: Revenues increased 5%, to $15 million. Less than 40% of revenue came from membership dues, about the same as last year. Expenses increased 11%, to $14.8 million. Lobbying costs increased 42%, to $2.9 million.

Independent Insurance Agents of America: Revenues increased 11%, to $15 million. The group drew 43% of its revenue from dues, down from close to 50%. Expenses increased 26%, to $14.4 million. Lobbying costs declined slightly, to $1.22 million.

Securities Industry Association: Revenues increased 12%, to $27.4 million. Dues topped $16.5 million. Expenses totaled $26.6 million, up 12%. Lobbying costs were cut 4.7%, to $4.67 million.

Ms. Robitaille works for Medill News Service.

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