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Citigroup CEO's pay reaches $14.9-million in 2011

Citigroup Inc. chief executive Vikram Pandit finally got his payday. The third biggest U.S. bank company paid Mr. Pandit $14.86-million (U.S.) in 2011, compared with a salary of $1 and no bonus in 2010, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Committee.

The 2011 payout included salary of $1.7-million and cash supplemented by a cash bonus of $5.3-million and options valued at $7.8-million. In 2009, Mr. Pandit's total pay package was $128,751.

The 2011 compensation recognizes Mr. Pandit's shepherding of Citigroup to profitability after the bank was bailed out by the government in 2008. Citigroup, which had net income that rose 6 per cent in 2011 to $11.1-billion, has had eight consecutive quarters of profitability, the bank's compensation committee said in the company's annual proxy statement.

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While its profit rose 6 per cent from 2010, the bank's shares last year plummeted 44 per cent.

"The committee awarded annual incentive compensation, in addition to salary, to Mr. Pandit for the first time in four years in a manner commensurate with his responsibilities and the success of his implementation of Citi's long term strategies," the proxy statement said.

Citigroup is the first large U.S. financial company to report its top executives' compensation as Wall Street slashes pay and imposes heavy layoffs.

Bonuses, which comprise the largest component of pay for Wall Street bankers, fell nearly 25 per cent in 2011, according to New York City's Independent Budget Office. Banks are expected to shed about 4,300 jobs this year, according to the fiscal watchdog.

About $8-million of Mr. Pandit's 2011 pay is split between deferred stock and deferred cash. The deferrals, meant "to provide stability in leadership," according to the filing, vests in four annual installments beginning January, 2012, the proxy said.

Mr. Pandit, 55, has been CEO since December, 2007, and refused to accept compensation in 2010 beyond the token $1 payment.

Citigroup president John Havens, who like Mr. Pandit was a former executive at Morgan Stanley , received $12.98-million in total compensation for 2011, up 36 per cent from 2010.

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Shares of Citigroup, which earlier this week announced that its chairman Richard Parsons and two other directors were stepping down at the company's annual meeting on April 17, are up 29 per cent this year.

The bank company said Thursday that it is nominating Roche Holding AG chairman Fran Humer and Joan Spero, a senior research scholar at Columbia University, to replace the departing directors. It previously announced that board member Michael O'Neill, the former CEO of Bank of Hawaii Corp., will replace Parsons as chairman.

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