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Charles Schwab Corp : Schwab Grants CEO $10.5 Million Compensation

01/30/2013 | 05:45pm US/Eastern
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--Schwab CEO Walt Bettinger granted $10.5 million compensation award

--Award value could climb to $17.8 million if company meets certain performance targets

--CEO's annual pay has been around $10 million the past three years

Charles Schwab Corp. (SCHW) granted Chief Executive Walt Bettinger a $10.5 million long-term compensation award, which could reach a total of $17.8 million if the company meets certain performance targets, according to a regulatory filing late Wednesday.

In the document, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the San Francisco discount brokerage said the compensation committee of its board approved a $4 million, long-term, incentive-based cash award for Mr. Bettinger. He could take home up to 200% of that target though, or $8 million, or as little as 0 depending on Schwab's performance.

Mr. Bettinger could also receive as much as $6.5 million in restricted stock units and $3.25 million in nonqualified stock options, the company said.

The cash portion of the pay package will be granted March 1 but won't vest for four years and will be based on the company "achieving a performance target related to cumulative earnings per common share for the four-year period from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2016," the filing said.

The restricted stock units, also with a grant date of March 1, will vest 25% in four annual installments and are based on criteria including Schwab's return on common equity. The stock options will be granted in three installments and will vest 25% on the first, second, third, and fourth anniversaries of the date of grant, according to the filing.

The maximum number of shares payable to Mr. Bettinger is 200% of the $3.25 million target, or $6.5 million.

Mr. Bettinger, who just completed his fourth year as Schwab's CEO, has had his total annual pay stay roughly flat over the past three years at around $10 million.

The compensation award disclosed Wednesday follows a year in which Schwab's profit rose by 7% and its revenue increased by 4%. The company, which posted a strong fourth quarter of net new asset growth, has been hurt by low interest rates and weak trading volume in recent years.

With continued low rates, Schwab has been waiving fees on its money-market funds so client yields don't turn negative. The fee waivers have cut into Schwab's asset management and administration fees.

Among other executive-pay disclosures, the company said it would grant Chairman and Founder Charles "Chuck" Schwab a $5 million long-term award, which could reach as much as $8.5 million based on the same performance criteria. Mr. Schwab's pay package also includes $2 million in deferred cash, $1.5 million in restricted stock and $1.5 million in nonqualified stock options.

Shares of Charles Schwab closed up 0.2% at $16.51. The stock has climbed about 15% so far in 2013.

Write to Brett Philbin at brett.philbin@dowjones.com

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

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