Pandit gets 6-times of total India bankers' pay

Written by Agencies | New York, January 27: | Updated: Jan 27 2008, 17:54pm hrs
World's largest lender Citigroup has awarded its newly-appointed CEO Vikram Pandit stocks worth USD 30 million, even as the India-born executive has decided to forgo a cash bonus at the crisis-ridden bank.

The 1.1 million share units and options for additional three million shares being awarded to Pandit is estimated to be worth about 30 million dollars (Rs 120 crore) -- an amount close to six times of total compensation paid by all the Indian banks together to their top executives last fiscal.

Nagpur-born Pandit was conferred by the Indian government Padma Bhushan, a prestigious civilian award, on Saturday.

The stock and options award was disclosed by Citigroup in a regulatory filing here late last week. This is higher than the total bonus worth 23.9 million dollars given to previous CEO Charles Prince last year. Prince got 10.7 million dollars in stock and 13.2 million dollars in cash bonus.

The salary of Pandit, who took charge of Citigroup in December 2007 after Prince resigned amid mounting subprime crisis-related losses, is not known as yet. However, Prince got an annual pay package of about 26 million dollars (about Rs 100 crore).

In comparison, more than 500 top executives and board members at India's public and private sector banks together received an annual compensation of about Rs 20 crore last fiscal.

ICICI Bank's Managing Director and CEO K V Kamath, the top paid banker in India, took home about Rs 2.61 crore.

Just about 10 top bankers in India got their salary in crores last fiscal, according to data disclosed in their annual reports.