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Wells Fargo CEO's $19.3 million in pay leads peers

Wells Fargo Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf speaks to employees while celebrating the completion the company's conversion from Wachovia
Wells Fargo Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf speaks to employees while celebrating the completion the company's conversion from Wachovia

By Rick Rothacker

(Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co Chief Executive John Stumpf's pay increased 8 percent in 2012, making him one of the industry's best-paid leaders, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday.

Stumpf received $19.3 million in compensation, comprising a $4 million bonus, $12.5 million in performance-based stock grants and $2.8 million in salary , after the No. 4 U.S. bank by assets hauled in record profits. For 2011, Stumpf received total compensation of $17.9 million.

While many of its rivals suffered missteps, San Francisco-based Wells emerged from the 2007-2009 financial crisis as the nation's biggest mortgage lender and a coast-to-coast retail bank after buying Wachovia Corp. Berkshire Hathaway Inc's Warren Buffett is the bank's biggest investor, owning 8.8 percent of its shares, according to the filing.

Wells posted $18.9 billion in earnings in 2012, up 19 percent from the previous year, but investors are worried the bank will have trouble repeating the performance amid a decline in mortgage refinancings. The bank's shares rose 24 percent in 2012, below the 30 percent increase in the KBW Bank Index.

Stumpf is landing at the top of the banker pay scale as some of his peers are getting their paychecks docked.

Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman's total pay for 2012 fell 7 percent to $9.75 million, while JPMorgan Chase & Co awarded CEO Jamie Dimon $11.5 million after slashing his bonus in half after the bank lost billions on disastrous trades by its Chief Investment Office.

Bank of America Corp chief executive Brian Moynihan, however, received a 73 percent raise that brought his total compensation to $12.1 million in 2012. New Citigroup CEO Mike Corbat made $11.5 million in 2012 for his work leading the bank and for his previous role as head of the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc CEO Lloyd Blankfein has received stock awards worth $13.3 million as part of his 2012 bonus, but the rest of his pay hasn't been disclosed.

Thursday's proxy filing also disclosed 2012 compensation for other top Wells Fargo executives. Wholesale banking head David Hoyt made $10.65 million, followed by Chief Financial Officer Tim Sloan ($8.8 million), community banking head Carrie Tolstedt ($8.73 million), consumer lending executive Avid Modjtabai ($8.43 million) and wealth, brokerage and retirement head David Carroll ($8.43 million).

UTAH, HERE WE COME

In a venue change, Wells' annual stockholder meeting will be held April 23 in Salt Lake City, Utah, according to the filing. Last year's gathering near the bank's San Francisco headquarters was disrupted by demonstrators protesting foreclosures and other issues. Goldman Sachs Group Inc is also holding its annual meeting in Salt Lake City this spring.

Before this year, Wells had held its last 14 meetings in San Francisco. Prior to Norwest Corp's 1998 acquisition of Wells Fargo, Norwest held meetings in its hometown of Minneapolis, and Wells sometimes held meetings in other California cities.

Holding the meeting in Salt Lake City "is consistent with the company's ongoing practice of holding many major company meetings outside of San Francisco in cities where we enjoy a significant presence of customers, team members and operations," bank spokeswoman Bridget Braxton said.

At the meeting, stockholders will vote on whether the bank should have an independent chairman, a proposal rejected last year. Stumpf currently holds both the CEO and chairman positions.

Shareholders will also vote on the election of 14 directors. Current board members Nicholas Moore and Philip Quigley aren't standing for re-election.

(Reporting by Rick Rothacker in Charlotte, N.C.; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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