Merrill Lynch & Co.'s chief executive, Stanley O'Neal, received $46 million in salary and bonuses in 2006, ranking him the second-highest-paid CEO on Wall Street.
The brokerage said O'Neal received $18.5 million in cash as a performance bonus on top of his $700,000 salary, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
He also was awarded $26.8 million in stock that vests between 2008 and 2011.
This puts him among the highest-paid CEOs at big Wall Street investment banks, which include Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc., Bear Stearns Cos. and others.
The staggering paydays for the brokerage executives reflect a record year on Wall Street, when stocks rallied to new heights and merger activity soared, raining huge fees on investment banks.
The boom times boosted total bonuses on Wall Street to a record $23.9 billion in 2006, up from $20.5 billion in 2005, according to a report issued by the New York state comptroller's office.
The biggest bonus went to Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who was awarded $53.4 million in cash and stock. After O'Neal, the next biggest compensation package went to Morgan Stanley's John Mack, who received $40 million in cash and stock.
Merrill Lynch shares rose $2.08 to a record $97.53 on Wednesday. They jumped 37% last year.