Tuesday March 21, 2017
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American Express pays Ken Chenault US$22 million for his 2016 performance, making him one of the highest paid CEOs in the US. — File picAmerican Express pays Ken Chenault US$22 million for his 2016 performance, making him one of the highest paid CEOs in the US. — File picNEW YORK, March 21 — American Express Co, the biggest credit-card issuer by customer spending, paid Chief Executive Officer Ken Chenault US$22 million (RM97.38 milion) for his work in 2016, a 19 per cent increase from a year earlier.

Chenault’s pay includes US$16.8 million in stock tied to future performance, US$3.2 million of options and a US$2 million salary, the New York-based lender said yesterday in its annual proxy filing. The company’s compensation committee decided to give Chenault, 65, more equity instead of a US$6.63 million cash bonus that would have been paid immediately, according to the proxy.

At this time last year, AmEx slashed the CEO’s compensation by 26 per cent after the firm’s stock and profit slumped in 2015, following the loss of a co-brand partnership with Costco Wholesale Corp.

Chenault, who also serves as chairman, remains one of the highest-paid CEOs in the US financial industry. His compensation puts him on par with Goldman Sachs Group Inc CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who also was paid US$22 million for 2016.

American Express, which counts Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc as its biggest shareholder, climbed 6.5 per cent in 2016 after tumbling 25 per cent in the prior year. The stock has gained an additional 6.4 per cent so far in 2017, closing Monday at US$78.85 a share.

The compensation committee determined that AmEx “exceeded initial expectations and made significant progress” last year, according to the proxy. “The committee also recognised that additional work lies ahead to reset the company’s trajectory toward profitable growth and high returns.” — Bloomberg

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