When Mike Corbat because CEO of Citigroup back in 2012, he had a dream, a dream that one day his bank would “get to a point where we stop destroying our shareholders’ capital.” A dream that one day he’d be able to do that through means other than firing everybody. A dream that Citi wouldn’t always fail all the stress tests. A dream that one day, his emerging markets business would receive the high praise of “no deficiencies."
That dream has more or less come true, in spite (or perhaps because) of Citi’s worst-ever quarter. But there was an unspoken part of the dream: That one day Mike Corbat would no longer be less valued than Brian Moynihan. That one day he’d be able to look his peers in the face and when Lloyd Blankfein reached for the check with pity and said, “Don’t worry, Mike. We’ve got this,” he could slam his hand down upon that bill and tell Lloyd and Jamie and Jim and Brian, “NO. I’ve got this. For I, too, now make in excess of $20 million per year.” And now, that too has come to pass.
Mr. Corbat is expected to receive total compensation of $23 million for 2017, according to a regulatory filing from the bank Friday. That is his biggest compensation package ever as CEO and a 48% increase from the previous year, when he received $15.5 million….
His compensation is an about-face from last year, when the board cut his pay because of “the firm’s performance relative to its financial targets.”
The board said Mr. Corbat had demonstrated “exceptional leadership in multiple critical areas,” including risk management and talent management. It also said it considered the pay of CEOs at peer institutions.