Bank of America CEO sees bonus jump

02/20/2014 9:01 AM

02/20/2014 9:02 AM

Bank of America chief executive Brian Moynihan was awarded $14 million for his performance in 2013, about 17 percent higher than the year before, as the bank’s earnings increased and its stock price continued to climb.

His stock bonus rose to $12.5 million, up from $11 million, the Charlotte bank disclosed in securities filings Wednesday. His compensation was also boosted by last year’s decision to boost his base salary from $950,000 to $1.5 million.

Going forward, Moynihan’s base salary will remain the same, a person familiar with the matter said. He will not receive a cash bonus this year, the person said.

The stock awards provide a window into how Bank of America’s board views Moynihan’s performance over the past year. In 2013, the bank posted its best annual net income in more than five years, and the stock price rose an additional 34 percent.

CEO compensation is still being disclosed at the nation’s largest banks. But Moynihan’s pay puts him behind his peers at JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs.

Moynihan’s six top lieutenants also all received larger stock bonuses this year than they did the year before, the filings show.

The stock units awarded to each executive will vest over the next few years, meaning what they’ll actually earn will depend on the shares’ performance in the future. Awards granted for the years 2012 and 2011 have grown in value as Bank of America’s share price has improved.

A more complete measure of how much Bank of America’s top executives were paid will be disclosed in the bank’s annual proxy filing, expected next month.

Solid year

Moynihan joined Bank of America in 2004 when the bank acquired FleetBoston Financial, and became CEO in 2010 after Ken Lewis stepped down. Moynihan still lives in Boston, but maintains an office in Charlotte.

His tenure has been dominated by dealing with the aftermath of the financial crisis and Bank of America’s 2008 acquisition of subprime lender Countrywide Financial Corp., which saddled the bank with hundreds of thousands of delinquent loans and billions in legal liability.

Moynihan’s pay bump this year comes after Bank of America’s most profitable year since 2007.

The bank earned $10.1 billion for shareholders over the course of the year, or 90 cents per share. That was up from 25 cents per share the year before. Bank of America’s stock price is also the highest it’s been since since May 2010.

After its most recent earnings report last month, analysts said they felt the bank may have hit a turning point after several years of struggling under the weight of hundreds of thousands of delinquent loans and numerous legal settlements.

Moynihan has repeatedly told investors that Bank of America has put the bulk of its legal liability behind it.

The bank also cut the number of delinquent loans by 60 percent over the course of last year, hitting 325,000.

Not everything is back to normal, however. The bank’s dividend remains at a penny per share, where it’s been since January 2009. While the stock price has tripled since 2011, it’s still well below pre-financial crisis highs in the $50 range. Shares closed Wednesday at $16.20.

Bank of America has also continued to lay off workers. The bank’s total headcount is down more than 40,000 in the past three years.

Behind his peer group

Moynihan’s pay ranks him slightly behind some of his peers at the nation’s biggest banks.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon was awarded $20 million for his performance in 2013 – a 74 percent increase despite the bank facing numerous legal investigations and paying out more than $23 billion in settlements. The figure includes an $18.5 million stock award and his base salary.

Goldman Sachs chief executive Larry Blankfein was awarded $14.7 million in stock for his performance. His cash award had not yet been disclosed. Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman got a $5 million award, but his long-term compensation and cash bonus hasn’t yet been revealed.

Compensation for Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, who was the highest paid bank chief executive last year, has not yet been disclosed.

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