Weddings are often economically lucrative, and last year's marriage of Conoco and Phillips Petroleum was no exception.

ConocoPhillips ( COP) has the dubious distinction of having two chiefs turn up in the Top 100 in executive compensation for 2002, thanks to generous options and bonus packages. Conoco Chief Executive Archie Dunham pulled down $18.9 million while James Mulva, of the Phillips side, made $71.4 million in 2002 -- good for a top 10 ranking, according to executive-compensation figures compiled by eComp Online. In fact, the top four ConocoPhillips executives reportedly netted packages worth more than $178.8 million from the deal.

While it takes time to see if a marriage works -- and ConocoPhillips has turned up on some smart fund managers' radar screens -- today's ROE v. Paid: Energy chart suggests the huge wedding booty is more of a down payment on the future than payment for services rendered.

The ROE v. Paid chart, you ask? To take a different spin on the issue of executive compensation vs. performance -- these articles usually focus on stock performance alone -- TheStreet.com has decided to compare a chief executive's pay with his or her company's return on equity, or ROE -- a quick and handy guide for how well a company puts shareholder dollars to work.

We ranked every S&P 500 company by its five-year average ROE -- using 15% as an informal measuring stick for good performance -- and listed the more recent pay figures for the head honcho, according to salary, bonus and options figures from eComp Online. (For more information, please read Thursday's introduction piece or the stories on tech CEOs and telecom CEOs.) Today we highlight the S&P 500's energy and utilities categories.

How did the energy chiefs stack up? Only four had five-year return on equity above the 15% line -- Occidental Petroleum ( OXY) topping the list for both the one- and five-year rankings. Occidental Chief Ray Irani was paid handsomely for his efforts -- his $32.5 million ranks high in the top 100.

The newlyweds at ConocoPhillips fell short of the ROE mark, but they were atop the heap on the pay scale. Perhaps the big wedding purses will compel a few more energy chiefs to walk down the aisle. Who knows? Maybe next year, the oilmen at SunocoUnocal or HalliburtonSchlumberger will move to the top of the pay list -- if not the ROE scale.


High Energy
ExxonMobil and Occidental Pete performed notably on the ROE side, and the companies compensated their executives well for solid return on equity. Far below on the ROE scale, but still in the eight-figure compensation territory, is Schlumberger.
Company (Ticker Symbol) 5-yr ROE 1-yrROE Chief ExecutiveCompensation*Rank in 500 Richest CEOs in 2002 Stock Return in 2002
Occidental Petroleum (OXY) 20.2% 16.55% Ray Irani$32,521,692Top 100 7.2%
EOG Resources (EOG) 18.4 5.04 Mark Papa$7,870,169***#200-300 2.1
ExxonMobil (XOM) 18.2 15.51 Lee Raymond$39,185,306***Top 100 -11.1


* Compensation figures include pay, bonus and options grants.
** eComp Online did not provide compensation for these CEOs, so Yahoo! was used.
*** 2001 figures.
Source: TheStreet.com, Bloomberg, eComp Online, Yahoo!

Click here to see entire table.

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