Chief executives of major southeastern banks received hefty salary and bonus increases last year, reflecting earnings improvement.

The biggest raise went to Wachovia Corp. president and CEO L.M. "Bud" Baker Jr., who earned $550,000, up 22% from $450,000 in 1993. Mr. Baker also saw his bonus increase by $110,000 to $357,500. His total compensation, including stock options, was $1.7 million.

Wachovia, which is based in Winston-Salem, N.C., earned $539 million last year, 9.5% more than in 1993.

The smallest salary raise, 3%, was given to First Union Corp. chairman and CEO Edward E. Crutchfield, who earned $835,000 compared to $810,000 in 1993. Mr. Crutchfield's bonus increased by only $25,000 - to $835,000.

First Union, which is based in Charlotte, earned $858.7 million last year, up 8.3% from 1993's $792.6 million.

Mr. Crutchfield's compensation picture improves dramatically, however, when stock options and other incentives are included. Such considerations as a $448,740 long-range incentive bonus, up from $375,000 in 1993, brought his 1994 total to $3 million.

Mr. Crutchfield also has the option to purchase an additional 44,000 shares at a price of $44.875 with an expiration date of June 20, 2004. In its proxy statement, First Union is asking its shareholders to fatten its one-year, short-term incentive plan to enable top officials to increase the maximum bonus from equal their salary to double it.

At Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks Inc., James B. "Jimmy" Williams earned $650,000, an 18% increase over 1993's $550,000. Mr. Williams' bonus jumped by $128,329 to $317,790, and his total compensation was $1.7 million.

SunTrust's earnings of $522.7 million were up 16% from 1993.

Salary for Barnett Banks Inc. chairman and CEO Charles E. Rice was $785,000, up 15% from $685,000 in 1993. It was his first increase since 1989. Mr. Rice's bonus declined by 9% - to $922,500 from $1 million.

A major part of Mr. Rice's total compensation of $3 million came from a newly implemented restricted stock award, which contributed $922,500. The award may vest over the three years ending in 1999, providing that specific performance and tenure goals are met, so only one-third is actually applicable to 1994.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.