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Discover Financial Doubles 2010 Compensation for Chief Nelms

Discover Financial Services' CEO David Nelms
David Nelms, chairman and chief executive officer of Discover Financial Services. Photographer: Tim Boyle/Bloomberg

Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Discover Financial Services Chief Executive Officer David Nelms’s 2010 compensation almost doubled from a year earlier, matching the gain posted by shares of the credit-card network last year.

Nelms, 50, was awarded $8.55 million in salary and stock after receiving $4.38 million in 2009, according to a regulatory filing today. His 2010 salary increased to $4.55 million from $1 million, and he received a $1.7 million cash bonus after not receiving any the previous year. The 2010 package included $2.27 million in stock awards, down from $3.33 million.

Discover posted a 1 percent decline in profit for 2010. The Riverwoods, Illinois-based company was the last of the top six U.S. credit-card issuers to repay federal bailout funds to the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which came with curbs on executive pay. Discover repaid $1.22 billion in TARP money on April 21.

The stock fell 47 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $21.52 in 10:45 a.m. New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares rose 26 percent during 2010, double the gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Justin Doom in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Green at

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