Top executives at Manulife Financial Corp. saw big bumps in their compensation in 2019 thanks to increased incentive pay, while payouts declined at Sun Life Financial Inc. as bonuses fell.
Manulife paid chief executive officer Roy Gori $14.7-million last year, up from $12.99-million the year before. His cash bonus of $4.9-million was up from $4.1-million in 2018, and he received share and option awards totalling just less than $7.4-million, about $800,000 more than the year before.
At Sun Life, CEO Dean Connor saw his total compensation slip to $9.65-million in 2019 from $9.71-million in 2018. His cash bonus fell to $1.8-million from $2.2-million in the prior year. Sun Life gave him $6.25-million in share and option awards, up from $6-million the year before.
Both companies have incentive plans that set a “target” bonus based on a percentage of salary. They evaluate their business results for the past year, and adjust the target bonus amount up or down. Then, they evaluate individual performance and adjust again. The end result can be business performance that comes in under the company’s goals but a bonus that ends up above targets because of executives’ individual performance.
Bonuses for Manulife’s top executives were up roughly 10 per cent to 20 per cent compared to 2018. Manulife said it exceeded its annual financial goals for earnings and the profitability of the new business it generated. The “company performance score” it used to award part of the bonuses was 112 per cent. That was down from 117 in the prior year, which means Manulife felt it didn’t do as well, compared with its goals, as it did in 2018.
Manulife’s board also took into account individual performance, and awarded the five top-paid executives bonuses that were anywhere from 129 per cent of their target bonus to 168 per cent, in the case of Mr. Gori.
At Sun Life, cash bonuses declined for all six top-paid executives when compared with 2018. The company missed its goals for earnings per share and the value of new business it generated, but made its goal for client satisfaction. It gave itself a performance factor of 90 per cent for business results, compared with 108 per cent in 2018. Sun Life then adjusted the 2019 bonuses upward based on individual performance, with the six executives getting 115 per cent to 122 per cent of their target bonuses. Mr. Connor’s payout was 122 per cent.
Manulife stock returned 42 per cent in 2019, while Sun Life shares returned 35.9 per cent. Net income increased just less than 13 per cent at Manulife and less than 4 per cent at Sun Life in 2019. On an adjusted basis, a metric preferred by insurers because it strips out volatility, Manulife reported profit growth of 5 per cent, while profit rose 4 per cent at Sun Life.
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