Legg Mason's chief executive officer, Raymond A. "Chip" Mason, got bonuses totaling more than $35 million in the past two years, and shareholder advisory firm Proxy Governance told the company's investors to vote against the compensation committee directors who granted it to him in their meeting yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Those bonuses were larger than what CEOs at other fund companies earned, even though the company's profits have been in line with the industry's over the past five years, according to Proxy Governance. "We fail to understand why this amount of pay is warranted considering that performance is closer to that of peers than a year ago," the company recommended.
n fact, the company calculates that Mason's pay was 126% greater than CEOs at other fund companies over the past three years and that his pay increased 400% in the past two years.
Legg Mason has countered that an independent consultant recommended Mason's pay package, largely due to the Citigroup swap deal and the desire to keep him on board, and that the firm's independent directors approved it.