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Playing for Pay: How Did Big Financial CEOs Stack Up in 2011?

Executive compensation vs. performance still looks out of joint

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When Citigroup (NYSE:C) CEO Vikram Pandit got his hand slapped in April while sifting around in the compensation cookie jar, it might have set off some alarm bells in the corner offices of other banking CEOs.

Or maybe not. Beauty — in this case, in the form of profits and stock performance — is indeed in the eyes of the shareholders. Or in the case of Citigroup and most other companies, the executive compensation committee.

Make no mistake about it: Citi’s compensation group was ready and willing to approve Pandit’s compensation package, valued at almost $15 million, despite a miserable year for shareholders, who saw C shares lose 46% for 2011.

Does Pandit’s rejection portend things to come? That’s hard to say of course, but a good place to start is a look at who gets paid what, and what that paycheck looks like relative to returns on stock price and equity.

Let’s look at six financial giants, all of whom (either willingly or not) accepted Troubled Asset Relief Fund monies back in 2008-09. As each CEO waits for decisions on compensation for 2012, decide for yourself if they were worth 2011’s money. In each case, their compensation values are based on total compensation, which includes salary, bonus, stock options and any other baubles or perks that can be valued.

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