BofA markets chief was bank's highest paid executive in '12

Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:03pm EDT
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By Rick Rothacker

(Reuters) - Bank of America Corp's (BAC.N: Quote) co-chief operating officer, Tom Montag, was once again the bank's highest paid executive in 2012, making $14.5 million in a year in which the bank showed signs of healing.

Montag's compensation, which included a $5.46 million bonus and $8.19 million in stock, increased 21 percent to eclipse the $12 million awarded to Chief Executive Brian Moynihan, according to a filing the bank made on Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Bank of America's executives were handed bigger pay packages in 2012 as the No. 2 U.S. bank by assets made progress in recovering from the 2007-2009 financial crisis. Its shares climbed more than 100 percent in 2012, while the bank padded its capital holdings and made strides in resolving mortgage-related litigation.

In his annual letter to shareholders, which was posted on the bank's website on Thursday, Moynihan struck an optimistic tone, saying the company had been "transformed" by a stronger balance sheet and a focus on core customers.

The letter also signaled Moynihan's plans for rewarding shareholders by buying back more stock. Earlier this month, the bank passed the Federal Reserve's annual stress test and won permission to repurchase $5 billion of its own shares.

"We are well-positioned to return excess capital to our shareholders and we believe that buying back common shares is the best way to continue to drive value for our shareholders," Moynihan wrote.

As part of this year's stress test, the bank did not request an increase in its quarterly dividend, which has been stuck at a penny per share since the financial crisis.

Moynihan, whose compensation was disclosed last month, was the bank's second-highest-paid executive after his total rose more than 70 percent to $12 million thanks to a higher stock grant of $11.1 million. He did not receive a cash bonus.   Continued...

The sign on a Bank of America ATM machine is pictured in downtown Los Angeles October 8, 2010. REUTERS/Fred Prouser