American Express CEO Earns $22 Million in Incentives
American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault is now ranked as one of the highest paid chief executive officers in the country.
His total compensation for 2013 was $24.4 million, with only $2 million of that coming from his actual salary.
Chenault’s compensation increased 11% from 2012 to 2013, and the raise was entirely in the form of incentive rewards. His annual incentive award came in at $7.95 million, while his long-term incentives amounted to $14.45 million. This information was released under the guidelines set by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which looks at compensation awards made to bankers within a performance year.
The reason for Chenault’s boost in awards is because AmEx exceeded earnings expectations in 2013. The company earned $4.88 a share last year, which fell in line with the target of $4.74 to $4.94. It had a return on equity of 27.8%, which was higher than the target of 26%.
As a whole, American Express has been able to maintain high performance numbers because of its focus on affluent customers. While companies like Visa and MasterCard reach out to the unbanked and underbanked, AmEx primarily focuses on higher income consumers who historically have fewer defaults and delinquencies.