Magazine article American Banker

Filings Show CEOs Doing Much Better Than Their Stocks

Magazine article American Banker

Filings Show CEOs Doing Much Better Than Their Stocks

Article excerpt

Compensation data for bank chief executive officers are just starting to trickle out, but already there is evidence that the nation's top bankers got big cash raises in 1999, a weak year for bank stocks.

Boards of directors, facing fierce competition for executive talent from the Internet and other industries, have had to raise the compensation bar higher and higher to retain key personnel, said Lee Pomeroy, an executive recruiter at Egon Zehnder International in New York who specializes in the financial services industry.

Consultants say the lure of the dot-com world, with its potential for long-term gains from future stock issues to executives, has banks and other old-economy companies in a bind. Just last week, Heidi Miller, a well-regarded Citigroup executive, announced she would leave her job as chief financial officer to join

"Boards at companies that feel their executives are poachable are reevaluating their compensation programs," said Rhoda Edelman, an executive compensation consultant at Pearl Meyer & Partners in New York. "It definitely has to be on people's minds."

L. Phillip Humann, chairman and chief executive officer of SunTrust Inc. in Atlanta, got $700,000 in base salary, a 19% gain from 1998, according to the company proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week. Together with a $525,510 bonus and other annual pay, Mr. Humann's total 1999 cash and bonus compensation of $1.24 million was 31% higher than the year before.

At Firstar Corp. in Milwaukee, CEO Jerry A. Grundhofer got $850,000 in base salary, a 6% raise, and a bonus of $1.7 million, according to the company's proxy. His total compensation of $2.55 million, excluding stock and other incentives, was up 42%.

Frank Wobst, chairman and CEO of Huntington Bancshares in Columbus, Ohio, got a base salary of $977,308, a 2% raise, but his annual bonus more than quadrupled, to $1. …

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