Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit paid well for 2011


The banking industry would appear to be on a slow mend, and that's good news from a compensation perspective for lots of executives.

Consider Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit. Until he could get the ship heading in the right direction, he reduced his salary all the way to $1. That made for some good PR at a time when it was sorely needed.

The personnel and compensation committees of the banks are making it up to him now. While the stock suffered a nightmarish decline in 2011, as did the stocks of other big banks, Citigroup returned to profitability, and the board saw fit to hand out some massive rewards.

Bloomberg notes filings that revealed that the bank will pay Pandit $14.9 million in total compensation for 2011, including his first bonus since 2008. The package included $1.67 million in salary and a $5.33 million cash bonus. This comes on top of a separate incentive and retention package that was previously disclosed. That package will pay up to $40 million if various financial targets are met.

Other executives fared well also.

"Chief Operating Officer John Havens, who oversees the securities and banking division, or S&B, received about $13 million for 2011, including a $5 million cash bonus. Profit at the unit, which includes trading and investment banking, fell 24 percent to $4.9 billion last year. Manuel Medina-Mora, consumer banking chief, received about $11.4 million, including a $4.2 million cash bonus. Profit at the regional consumer-banking unit jumped 33 percent to $6.2 billion in 2011, compared with the prior year."

The big issue here is how shareholders will react. Will they deem this overly generous? Will they raise a say-in-pay ruckus? We will know soon. 

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