CEO pay at the largest publicly traded money managers and banks with asset management units was a mixed bag in 2020, as financial institutions responded to the pandemic and new volatility in the market, according to an annual analysis of proxy statements by Pensions & Investments.
For the 11 institutions analyzed by P&I, as many CEOs saw pay increases as saw decreases. That there were decreases at all may come as a surprise to investors in bank and money manager stocks who have participated in a significant rally over the past several months. Bank stocks took big losses at the start of the pandemic but quickly rebounded as earnings improved on the back of increased trading revenue.
In a recent research note, New York-based Deutsche Bank AG analyst Matt O'Connor suggested that bank stocks could climb another 30%-50% on the "catch-up" trade — catch-up meaning what they lost in the pandemic — but it may not translate directly to big increases in CEO pay. Proxy statements for 2020 highlight a variety of transitions happening within executive management and banks themselves which could keep compensation mixed over the near term.