By IEVA M. AUGSTUMSCHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) ¿ Regional bank First Horizon National Corp. paid out more than $6.8 million in compensation to the two chief executives that oversaw the company in 2008. Gerald L. Baker, who served as CEO until Sept. 1, took home more than $3 million in compensation in 2008, an almost 1.6 percent increase from the full-year's pay he received in 2007. His replacement, Bryan Jordan, took home more than $3.8 million in compensation for the four months he served as the Memphis, Tenn.-based company's CEO. Baker, who transitioned from president and CEO to vice chairman of the board on Sept. 1 and then retired on Dec. 31, was awarded $817,654 in base salary. He also received stock and option awards valued at $2.1 million on the days they were granted. Additionally, the Southern bank operator awarded Baker $54,805 in all other compensation, which included perquisites and other personal benefits, 401(k) plan matching contributions and life insurance premiums. Jordan, who had been the company's chief financial officer before becoming CEO on Sept. 1, was awarded $703,769 in base salary. He received $3.1 million in stock options and restricted stock awards, and $30,832 in other compensation.
The Associated Press calculations of total pay include executives salary, bonus, incentives, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year. The calculations don't include changes in the present value of pension benefits, and they sometimes differ from the totals companies list in the summary compensation table of proxy statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. According to First Horizon's proxy filing, the company is committed to paying for results, and large portions of executive compensation are linked to company performance. First Horizon's compensation committee annually reviews the compensation practices of a peer group of financial institutions that includes Regions Financial Corp., Zions Bancorp, M&T Bank Corp. and PNC Financial Services Group Inc. Company performance in 2008 did not meet threshold requirements, First Horizon said, so zero executive cash bonuses were paid. Shares of First Horizon lost more than 64 percent of their value in 2008. Last year was another tumultuous year for the financial services industry, as the sector struggled amid the credit crisis that mushroomed throughout the year. Credit losses across the industry were up sharply, especially on real estate loans, and First Horizon was not immune.
Like most other banks, First Horizon ramped up its loss provisions during the year because of rising delinquencies and defaults among mortgages and consumer loans. To help bolster its capital position, the company raised $690 million in common equity early on in the year. In November, First Horizon received $866 million as part of the government's $700 billion bank rescue package. For the full year, First Horizon posted a loss of $192 million, or $1.06 per share, compared with a loss of $170.1 million, or $1.29 per share in 2007.