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As Assets Grow, so Do Fund CEOs' Paychecks

October 06, 1996|From Bloomberg Business News

Mutual fund company chief executives are earning more as the industry keeps getting bigger.

Fund company CEOs will earn an estimated average of $1.02 million in total compensation in 1996, up 6% from $964,200 in 1995, according to a survey of 50 companies by Buck Consultants Inc. in Stamford, Conn.

That's an average for the biggest mutual fund companies in the U.S., said Paul Gavejian, a compensation consultant at Buck Consultants.

Some CEOs will earn $300,000 and others at larger funds will earn $3 million, Gavejian said. "There is a direct relationship between the size of the assets under management and the size of the paycheck," he said.

In 1995, Lawrence J. Lasser, president and chief executive of Putnam Investments Inc., ranked among the top earners in the $3.1- trillion mutual fund business.

Marsh & McLennan Co., Putnam's parent, paid Lasser about $5.82 million last year, according to the company proxy statement.

Lasser's salary is high relative to the fund industry, though lower than what Merrill Lynch & Co., the No. 1 U.S. securities firm, paid its president, David H. Komansky--a package worth $12.16 million. Komansky, of course, oversees many securities areas, including Merrill's mutual funds.

Among publicly traded fund companies, T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. paid George J. Collins, president and chief executive, $1.65 million last year. Charles B. Johnson, president of Franklin Resources Inc., received a salary of just under $780,000 in fiscal 1995, but "he's a billionaire based on the stock he owns" in the company, said Geoff Bobroff, an independent industry consultant in East Greenwich, R.I.

Nicholas A. Lopardo, who runs State Street Global Advisors, one of the largest money management companies in the U.S., was paid about $1.4 million in salary, bonus and other compensation in 1995, a 28% increase from 1994, according to its proxy statement.

A fund's executives are generally paid based on company profits rather than asset size.

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