Partner Kelly Malafis and Principal Shaun Bisman were quoted in a published article discussing Citigroup executives defending the decision to tie bonuses with compliance fixes. Shaun Bisman revealed it is somewhat unusual to see companies put incentive programs in place that are tied to satisfying regulatory concerns. In addition, Kelly Malafis explained how Citigroup is sending a strong message of what is important to them by developing a program that is clearly tied to the issues the company is facing.

Partner Kelly Malafis notes that for now, most bank compensation committees will feel more comfortable awarding diversity and inclusion bonuses when they are attached to a range of improvement on certain diversity metrics, as opposed to meeting more specific targets. Principal Shaun Bisman says that this is really in the beginning stages where companies and boards want to see how these diversity and inclusion incentives are working before they set these more quantifiable goals.

In 2020, bank boards and compensation committees relied less on numbers and formulas, and more on their perceptions of how well CEOs led their banks through the pandemic. Partner Kelly Malafis explains that some companies that had discretion built into their bonus plans were able to use a more holistic approach to determining CEO bonus pay. Others with entirely formulaic methods looked at measures such as relative performance to determine their results and in most cases adjusted results upward, thus lifting bonus pay. Principal Shaun Bisman adds that there could be even more use of discretion in bonus pay for 2021, as the timing of a full economic recovery remains unclear, making it hard to set financially based performance goals. He imagines that in two or three years the plans would look very similar to what they looked like pre-COVID.

Two factors played major roles in shaping compensation trends for bank CEOs in 2020. One was the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to big increases in loss reserves, in turn causing net income to fall at many banks. The other big factor was the ongoing wave of mergers and acquisitions, which increased the size of companies like First Horizon and First Citizens Bancshares. American Banker cites data compiled by CAP to examine which CEOs saw pay cuts and which saw substantial pay hikes last year.

Will the new accounting standard, known as Current Expected Credit Loss, have the desired impact of discouraging excessive risk-taking by CEOs? Partner Eric Hosken explains how this legislation may be a major determinant of CEO pay for publicly traded banks when it takes effect in 2020.

Partners Rose Marie Orens and Eric Hosken discuss the recent compensation design changes in the banking industry influenced by the Fed.

Upcoming Events See All

Oct 26, 2021

Private Company Board Compensation

Webinar

As the market is heating up for attracting and retaining diverse and talented directors, what are appropriate pay levels for board members? How do…
  • Susan Schroeder
  • Shaun Bisman

Nov 04, 2021

Workshop: Family Business Executive Salary Survey Results

Webinar

Family Business Magazine and Compensation Advisory Partners (CAP) have updated their survey of executive compensation in family businesses, first released in May 2021. Partners…
  • Bertha Masuda
  • Susan Schroeder

Nov 04, 2021

Breakout: Family Business Board Compensation

Webinar

This session will review the results of the Family Business/Private Company Director board compensation survey with CAP speakers Susan Schroeder, Partner and Han Wen…
  • Susan Schroeder
  • Han Wen Zhang