A former Dreyfus Corp. president who serves as director of the money manager’s mutual funds may be regretting the hefty salary he earns, Reuters reports.

Joseph DiMartino, 59, who Dreyfus paid $816,000 last year, has drawn criticism for earning twice as much as the next highest-paid fund trustee and more than seven times as much as many peers.

DiMartino, who is responsible for making sure Dreyfus investors pay reasonable fees in funds run by the best possible stock pickers, made about $816,000 last year, according to documents filed recently with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The median salary for directors at the biggest fund families was $113,000 last year, according to a study by consulting firm Management Practice. Even other high-ranking directors such as John Hill at Putnam Investments, took home $388,000.

Mercer Bullard, a former SEC attorney who is now an assistant professor of law at the University of Mississippi, noted that DiMartino’s compensation was "out of line with the reasonable range in the industry,"

This idea is shared by Tamar Frankel, a law professor at Boston University and an expert on mutual fund regulation. "It’s clearly extraordinary. Assuming that the directors, as representatives of the fund shareholders, approved this payment out of the funds’ assets, they should explain the reason for approving, on behalf of their shareholders, this generous payment."

DiMartino did not return calls to Reuters seeking comment about his salary, which has reached lofty levels in recent years, including $810,000 in 2001. Representatives with New York-based Dreyfus said he was traveling and could not be reached.

There are still those who will defend DiMartino’s inflated salary. For example, one unnamed securities lawyer stated: "There could be good business reasons why he’s getting paid all that money. But on the other side, how can he be a disinterested director? Isn’t he going to be on the side of the fund management when they come with their fees? That's the big sticking point."

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The staff of Mutual Fund Market News ("MFMN") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MFMN, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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