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Merrill CEO O'Neal gets $46 million, second biggest among major Wall Street investment houses

Merrill CEO O'Neal gets $46 million, second biggest among major Wall Street investment houses

Merrill Lynch & Co.'s chief executive officer, Stanley O'Neal, received $46 million (euro35.4 million) in salary and bonuses in 2006, ranking him the second-highest paid CEO on Wall Street.
The largest U.S. brokerage said O'Neal received $18.5 million (euro14.2 million) in cash as a performance bonus on top of his $700,000 (euro538,255) salary, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
He also was awarded $26.8 million (euro20.6 million), the filing revealed.
This puts him among the highest paid CEOs at the big five U.S. Wall Street investment banks, which include Merrill Lynch along with Morgan Stanley Inc., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Bear Stearns Cos. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
The staggering paydays for the executives of these companies reflect a record year on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones industrials rallied to new heights and there was more than $4 trillion of acquisition activity.
The dealmaking frenzy boosted bonuses on Wall Street to a record $23.9 billion (euro18.4 billion) in 2006, up from $20.5 billion (euro15.8 billion) during the previous year, according to a report issued by the New York state comptroller's office. Big bonuses were rewarded to everyone from star bankers to secretaries, and they go down as the biggest since the dot-com boom.
The biggest bonus went to Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who was awarded $53.4 million (euro41.1 million) in cash and stock. After O'Neal, the next biggest compensation package was for Morgan Stanley's John Mack, who received $40 million (euro30.8 million).
O'Neal took over the chairman and CEO posts of Merrill Lynch in 2003 from longtime leader David Komansky. He held numerous senior management positions before that, including running its investment banking division.
Apart from O'Neal, Merrill Lynch dolled out some $138 million (euro106.1million) to seven of its other top executives, according to the regulatory filing. The New York-based company, like its rivals, reported record earnings in 2006 _ up 47 percent to $7.5 billion (euro5.8 billion).
The next biggest payouts went to the co-heads of Merrill Lynch's investment banking division. Dow Kim received $35 million (euro26.9 million), while his colleague Gregory Fleming took home $32 million (euro24.6 million).
Chief Administrative Officer Ahmass Fakahany received $28 million (euro21.5 million), while Executive Vice President Robert McCanngot $21 million (euro16.15 million).
The payouts exclude the $2 million (euro1.5 million) from their stock incentive bonuses as part of Merrill Lynch's managing partner incentive program. Adopted last January, the program encourages "key leaders" to increase the company's return on equity over a three-year period.
The grants under the program are at risk and could lose their value if specific targets are not achieved, the company said in its most recent proxy statement.
Merrill Lynch shares rose $2.08 to close Wednesday at $97.53 on the New York Stock Exchange.


Updated : 2021-07-29 05:42 GMT+08:00