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CIBC CEO Gerry McCaughey (Tibor Kolley/Tibor Kolley/The Globe and Mail)
CIBC CEO Gerry McCaughey (Tibor Kolley/Tibor Kolley/The Globe and Mail)

CIBC's McCaughey gets 50% pay raise Add to ...

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce gave chief executive officer Gerald McCaughey the largest raise of any major bank CEO last year.

Mr. McCaughey made $9.34-million last year, a 50-per-cent increase from 2009, according to the bank's proxy circular that was made public Thursday.

His compensation included a $1.5-million base salary, along with a $3.13-million cash bonus and stock options and incentives totalling $4.7-million. That compared to compensation of $6.24-million the year before.

The raise comes after a year in which CIBC's profit doubled. Mr. McCaughey, 54, has been credited with revamping the bank's operations, shifting CIBC away from riskier debt products and lending operations that forced it to take large writedowns in the past, and refocusing the business on domestic retail banking, which is known for steadier earnings.

The CEOs of Canada's major banks all booked raises last year as profits jumped across the sector amid the global credit crunch. CIBC is the last Big Five lender to release its compensation figures. Toronto-Dominion Bank CEO Ed Clark took home the highest total compensation at $11.3-million, a gain of just over 8 per cent. Royal Bank of Canada CEO Gordon Nixon made $11-million last year in total compensation, an increase of about 6 per cent.

Bank of Nova Scotia CEO Rick Waugh made the third-highest amount at $10.7-million, which was a 10-per-cent increase in total compensation. Bank of Montreal's Bill Downe made $9.54-million, a rise of 28 per cent from 2009.

CIBC made $2.5-billion last year, compared with a profit of $1.17-billion the previous year.

The bank's other top executives received similar pay hikes. Richard Nesbitt, head of CIBC World Markets Inc., the investment banking division, was paid total compensation of $7.96-million, up 47 per cent. Sonia Baxendale, head of CIBC's retail banking operations, made $4.44-million in total compensation, up 40 per cent. CIBC said it was following standards set by the Financial Stability Board for its executive pay. Since the cash bonuses for each executive exceeded 40 per cent of their total compensation, the amount exceeding that threshold was converted into units at book value. CIBC will hold its annual meeting April 28 in Winnipeg.

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