The Big Board's Millionaires' Club - TheStreet

The Big Board's Millionaires' Club

As many as 11 executives at the New York Stock Exchange are in seven figures.
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Richard Grasso had plenty of company in the

New York Stock Exchange's

millionaire's club.

Compensation figures released Friday by the NYSE show that at least six top executives take home more than $1 million a year in salary and bonuses, with two executives earning about $2.7 million.

Maybe the most shocking news is that under the NYSE's lucrative retirement and long-term investment plan, 57 executives and officers of the Big Board are -- in theory -- entitled to a combined $132.5 million in deferred compensation.

Disclosure of the NYSE pay information comes about a month after furor erupted over Grasso's $139.5 million pay package, most of which included deferred pay racked up during his long tenure at the exchange. Last month Grasso was forced to resign as chairman and chief executive in light of the controversy, which has spawned calls for major reforms at the Big Board, both in the way it pays exchange officials and the way it regulates its member firms.

The new pay figures are sure to spur further controversy about the NYSE's lucrative compensation system, especially because the 211-year-old institution is currently set up as a not-for-profit company. It's hard to imagine executives at any other not-for-profit company reaping such generous retirement packages.

The lucrative retirement packages and annual salaries also must be causing fits of jealousy over at the

Securities and Exchange Commission

, where government lawyers often make less than $75,000 a year.

In all, fewer than a dozen NYSE top officers make more than $1 million a year, but NYSE Interim Chairman and Chief Executive John Reed released information about the pay packages for only six of them. The NYSE declined to provide a specific number, except to say it was "less than 12" employees.

At top of the heap are Robert Britz and Catherine Kinney, the NYSE's co-presidents and co-chief operating officers. Both took home about $2.7 million in salary and bonuses in 2002 and each stands to collect $22 million in deferred payments if and when they retire at 65.

An NYSE official said the deferred pay represents money "earned" by each executive, but not fully vested. To receive that money in full, the executives would have to work until a retirement age of at least 65.

So if some of those officials left the exchange before they reached 65, they would take home less in deferred pay.

That means Britz, 52, and Kinney, 50, each will have to work several more years at the NYSE in order to receive the full deferred compensation.