Private Equity’s Top 10 Earned $1.7 Billion in 2013

This puts Jamie Dimon’s $20 million payday in perspective: The top 10 private equity executives took home a combined $1.7 billion in dividends in 2013, as a soaring market for stocks allowed their firms to sell holdings at huge profits.

Leon Black, the chairman and chief executive officer of Apollo Global Management, earned about $369 million, according to Bloomberg News. Stephen Schwarzman, the Blackstone Group founder, is expected to net $311 million. George Roberts and Henry Kravis, namesakes of KKR, brought home $165 million and $161 million, respectively.

Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, saw his compensation rise 74 percent despite running a bank that racked up $23 billion in fines and settlements in 2013, triggering another debate about pay on Wall Street as the economic recovery limps along. President Obama used his State of the Union address in January to call for a $10.10 minimum wage, a hike from the current $7.25, which works out to $15,080 per year.

Other bank CEOs received compensation that is enormous but looks tiny next to the private equity pay: Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs got $23 million; Michael Corbat of Citigroup, $14.4 million; Brian Moynihan of Bank of America, $14 million.

Private equity had a banner year as the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index touched all-time highs. Blackstone posted record earnings in the fourth quarter, and Carlyle Group’s quarterly profit more than tripled. The latter fund’s three co-founders, David Rubenstein, William Conway, and Daniel D’Aniello, are expected to take home $88.4 million each for 2013.

Flush private equity funds are expanding beyond their traditional business of leveraged buyouts into such areas as real estate, high-risk debt, and hedge fund investing—taking up where the nation’s biggest banks, constrained by new regulation like the Volcker Rule, have left off.

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