New York Stock Exchange
floor brokers steaming about Dick Grasso's high pay are liable to blow a gasket following new information about the compensation of some of his lieutenants.
NYSE documents show that Catherine Kinney and Robert Britz, the exchange's co-chief operating officers and presidents, received incentive bonuses totaling about $3 million each in 2002,
The Wall Street Journal
reported Friday afternoon.
Ed Kwalwasser, the executive vice president for regulation, pocketed incentives totaling $1 million, the newspaper said. None of the figures included their salaries.
The revelations are another headache for the exchange, where a cadre of floor brokers reportedly is circulating a petition seeking Grasso's ouster. The group needs 100 signatures to force a special meeting to discuss the matter, although actually pulling the coup off would be almost prohibitively difficult given existing rules.
Grasso came under fire two weeks ago following revelations the NYSE board approved a pay package for him totaling almost $140 million, mostly in deferred compensation. The larger part of the exchange's 1,300-plus seat holders are said to support the chairman, but three of the exchange's directors are nevertheless meeting with dissident seat holders to discuss their complaints next week.
Until recently, some of the floor's smaller outfits also had been angry over an $11,000-a-month "technology fee" Grasso used to collect some $25 million from specialist operations last year. The fee was dropped last month and is scheduled to be reinstated in 2004.
A key element of the Grasso mystique is his tireless work restoring order to the exchange in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but now not even that heroic performance is sacred. Documents reviewed by various media outlets indicate Grasso received a $5 million bonus for that -- money that was approved by a board that at the time was chaired by Ken Langone, a director on the
board. Grasso sits on the compensation committee of the Home Depot board.
In April 2003, the NASD said it had opened an investigation into Langone's investment bank, Invemed, for allegedly fishy profit-sharing activities involving hot IPOs during 1999 and early 2000.
In an interview with London's
, the current chairman of the NYSE's compensation committee, Carl McCall, said the methodology of the exchange's pay system could stand an overhaul.
"I think they need to change. I think we've been very clear about how we feel," Mr McCall said. "We
the compensation committee have a very clear mandate from the board at this time to do that."
Asked about Grasso's pay, McCall told the newspaper: "I don't know. I became chair of this committee in June."