DBS Group Holdings Ltd. boosted Chief Executive Officer Piyush Gupta’s total compensation by 15 percent to S$9.3 million ($7.5 million) last year, exceeding CEO pay at Deutsche Bank AG and Barclays Plc.
Pay for the head of Southeast Asia’s largest lender, released yesterday in its annual report, compares with 4.8 million euros ($6.2 million) for Deutsche Bank co-CEOs Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen, and 2.6 million pounds ($4 million) for Barclays chief Antony Jenkins, according to the companies.
Gupta’s increase coincides with last year’s record profit of S$3.8 billion and DBS’s plans to expand in fast-growing Asian markets, including the pending takeover of PT Bank Danamon Indonesia. Asia’s growth contrasts with a recession in Europe, where banks are retrenching to meet tightened capital requirements and coping with a debt crisis.
“For senior executives at banks, remuneration is pegged to performance, and for DBS that clearly seems to be the case,” said Stella Tang, a Singapore-based director at recruitment company Robert Half International Inc.
Gupta, who oversaw a 29 percent jump in DBS shares last year, was awarded a S$3.5 million cash bonus and company stock valued at S$4.6 million as part of total compensation, according to the annual report. His base salary totalled S$1.2 million.
DBS was little changed at S$15.90 as of 3:37 p.m. in Singapore, where it’s based, and touched a four-and-a-half year high last week, as it withstands shrinking interest rates at home in search of growth elsewhere in the region.
Jain and Fitschen, who took over as co-chiefs of Germany’s biggest bank in June, saw profit after tax last year erode to 291 million euros after setting aside additional money to cover legal costs linked to U.S. mortgage lawsuits and other regulatory probes, a 93 percent drop from the previous year.
Jenkins, who became CEO of Britain’s second-biggest bank by assets on Aug. 30, said in February that he didn’t wish to be considered for a 2012 bonus. The lender on Feb. 12 posted an annual net loss of 1.04 billion pounds, its first in two decades, after setting aside an additional 1 billion pounds for compensating clients wrongly sold interest-rate swaps and loan-repayment insurance.
In the Asia-Pacific region, four of the top five banks by market value are Chinese. Of those, only Bank of China Ltd., the country’s fourth largest, has published its annual report, revealing Chairman Xiao Gang was paid 1.1 million yuan ($178,000) last year. Xiao stepped down last month.
Ian Narev, CEO of Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the fifth-largest in the region, earned A$5.7 million ($6 million) for the year ended June 2012, according to its annual report. Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. and United Overseas Bank Ltd., Gupta’s domestic rivals, haven’t released CEO pay for last year.
“If other regional banks can capitalize on Asian growth and deliver this type of performance, they too can possibly start compensating” at DBS’s level, Tang said.