By David Benoit
Citigroup Inc. said Friday it would pay Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat $24 million for 2019, unchanged from the previous year.
The bulk of Mr. Corbat's pay is in two sets of stock-based compensation that totaled $15.75 million for 2019. He was also given a $6.75 million cash bonus. His base salary, $1.5 million, has been steady since he was promoted to CEO in 2012.
Mr. Corbat has said the bank is making steady progress toward higher profitability. In 2019, the bank's revenue rose 2% and profit rose 8%. The stock soared 50%, outpacing rivals in the KBW Nasdaq Bank Index.
Analysts and investors focus on Citigroup's profitability, which has improved in recent years but still trails other big banks. Citigroup said last month its return on tangible common equity, which measures the profitability of its assets, was 12.1% for the full year, better than the 12% the bank had targeted. Analysts, though, said the figure would have fallen short if not for a tax-related boost on some assets, and Citigroup lowered its 2020 target.
Mr. Corbat over the past seven years has focused on simplifying the bank and expanding its revenue from current customers and its consumer bank. It has successfully moved beyond the worst of its financial crisis-era losses and regulatory problems, but now investors are seeking more signs of growth.
Several of Citigroup's top executives left over the past year, including the head of the consumer bank, the head of the investment bank and the finance chief. Mr. Corbat named longtime executive Jane Fraser as company president and head of the consumer bank, a move that puts her among his top potential successors.
Three other big U.S. banks have disclosed 2019 pay for their CEOs. James Dimon at JPMorgan Chase & Co. got a bump to $31.5 million; James Gorman at Morgan Stanley was cut to $27 million. Bank of America Corp. kept Brian Moynihan's pay at $26.5 million.
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