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Great American's Luce Heads List of Top Paid Executives

May 26, 1987|CHRIS KRAUL | San Diego County Business Editor

Last year was a busy one for Gordon Luce, chairman of Great American First Savings Bank. By shepherding Great American's acquisitions of Home Federal Savings and Loan Assn. of Tucson and Los Angeles Federal Savings Bank, Luce helped boost his company's asset size in one year by 59% to $13.1 billion, making it the ninth largest savings institution in the country.

Luce was paid handsomely for his efforts. His total 1986 compensation of $1,830,529 made him the highest paid employee of San Diego-based public companies, according to an executive pay study of California's largest publicly held companies conducted for the Los Angeles Times by the William M. Mercer-Meidinger-Hansen human resources consulting firm.

Reflecting a nationwide trend toward more incentive-based pay, the lion's share of the 61-year-old Luce's compensation was $1,221,414 in stock options in addition to $602,522 in base salary and bonuses. Luce's total 1986 compensation was nearly triple his 1985 total compensation of $549,100, which included just $53,885 in stock options. Luce has been Great American's chief executive since 1969.

San Diego's second highest paid executive was also a Great American First Savings Bank employee: Thomas Weir, chairman and chief executive of Great American/Arizona, the new name for Home Federal of Tucson. Weir, 53, an Arizona resident, was paid $1,276,100 in a package consisting of $586,702 in base salary and bonus and $675,191 in stock options.

Third Highest

The third and last member of San Diego's "million-dollar club" was Henley Group Inc. chairman Michael Dingman, 55, who earned $1,076,457, all but $20,657 of which came in salary and bonuses. Dingman helped form Henley Group in May 1986 from a collection of 35 companies cast off by Allied-Signal Inc.

Starting this year, stock grants could play a bigger role in Dingman's overall compensation. Last November, he took advantage of Henley's new equity purchase program for top Henley executives to buy 1,050,000 shares of Henley stock at $21.25 per share, with 90% financing provided by Henley.

Fourth highest paid San Diego executive was Kenneth Thygerson, 41, president of Imperial Corp. of America, parent of Imperial Savings Association. Thygerson, who left the chief executive's post at Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. in 1985 to join Imperial, took down $750,000 in 1986, including a base salary of $375,000 and a 100% incentive bonus of $375,000.

Next on the list of highest paid San Diego executives was Henley Group president Paul Montrone, 45, who made $708,842, all but $12,592 of which was in cash salary and bonuses. Montrone has been part of Henley chairman Dingman's management team since the days when both were executives at Wheelabrator-Frye Inc., a company bought out in 1983 by Signal Cos., which in turn was merged with Allied-Signal Inc. in 1985.

Rohr Industries Inc. Chairman Harry W. Todd was next with total compensation of $583,698, of which $573,698 was in salary and bonuses. Todd, 64, has been chairman and chief executive of Rohr since April 1982.

Home Federal Chairman

Kim Fletcher, chairman and chief executive officer of Home Federal Savings and Loan Association, took home total compensation of $552,918 in 1986, all but $8,500 of which was in salary and bonuses. Fletcher, 59, has been chief executive of Home Federal since 1969 and board chairman since 1978.

Eighth on the list of highly compensated executives was Home Federal Executive Vice President James E. Stutz, who took down $500,835, a sum that included $321,750 in exercised stock options.

Cubic Corp. Chairman Walter J. Zable, 71, received $451,285 in compensation in 1986, all of which came in the form of salary and cash bonus. Zable owns 32% of outstanding shares in the defense electronics company he founded in 1951.

Tenth most highly compensated San Diego executive in 1986 was San Diego Gas & Electric Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Thomas A. Page, who received $450,803. Page, 53, has been chairman of the utility since 1983.

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