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Moynihan's compensation jumps in 2011

Bank of America Corp. chief executive Brian Moynihan was paid $7.5 million in salary, stock and other compensation during 2011, up sharply from $1.2 million the year before as the Charlotte bank built capital, slashed costs and continued to slog through its legacy mortgage troubles.

That includes $6.1 million in performance-contingent stock awards, according to the proxy statement filed Wednesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He received no such awards the year before.

Moynihan, who took over Bank of America’s top job in 2010, did not receive a cash bonus for the third straight year, and his $950,000 salary was unchanged from 2010, the filing said.

His total compensation also includes other perks, such as the use of corporate aircraft and tax and financial advisory services.

Bank of America’s compensation committee said it determined top executives’ pay in January after reviewing how the company, its lines of business and its executives performed in 2011. The bank turned a small profit for the year, $85 million for common shareholders, up from a loss of $3.6 billion in 2010 – but its stock slid nearly 60 percent in 2011 amid an uncertain economy and continued mortgage troubles.

The compensation committee acknowledged shareholders’ return “has lagged the total stockholder return of key competitors” but cited progress cutting costs and streamlining the company through Moynihan’s wide-ranging efficiency initiative, Project New BAC, among other improvements.

“Under Mr. Moynihan’s direction, our company continued to strengthen its balance sheet in key risk areas by improving capital and overall liquidity and reducing debt,” the filing said.

The proxy doesn’t include some pay awarded early this year for executives’ 2011 performance. Under SEC guidelines, the compensation detailed in the bank’s annual proxy statement includes only stock awarded during that performance year. That means stock grants Bank of America announced last month, based on how the executives performed in 2011, won’t be reflected until next year’s proxy.

The bank awarded Moynihan stock worth about $6 million in February for his work last year. That was down from a stock grant worth a maximum of more than $9 million for the CEO’s performance in 2010, though the ultimate value of those payouts depends on whether the company meets specific performance goals going forward.

All five other executives named in Wednesday’s proxy received a cash bonus for 2011, though performance-based stock awards made up most of their overall pay. The bank’s highest-paid executive last year was co-chief operating officer Thomas Montag, the former Merrill Lynch executive who runs the Wall Street side of the bank.

Montag earned nearly $14.3 million in salary, bonus, stock awards and other compensation after leading the Global Banking and Markets business “through market volatility, contributing solid returns while reducing risk-weighted assets consistent with our company’s capital plan,” the filing said.

Details about the executives’ pay come after a year of mixed results. Bank of America turned around big losses as it continued to sell off assets. New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co. surpassed it last year as the nation’s largest bank by assets as a result.

But 2011 also saw missteps and disappointments. Losses and legal fallout stemming from the bank’s 2008 acquisition of troubled mortgage lender Countrywide Financial continued to weigh on the bank’s performance. An ill-timed proposal to charge some customers $5 to use their debit cards fueled public anger. And the bank’s stock turned in the Dow Jones industrial average’s worst performance in 2011.

The stock has rebounded this year – it closed at $9.75 Wednesday, up about 2 percent from the previous day – and earlier this month, Bank of America learned it had passed the Federal Reserve’s latest round of stress tests. Yet analysts remain mixed on the company’s profit potential going forward.

Moynihan’s pay reflects some of the bank’s difficulties: His 2011 payout was the lowest among the CEOs of the big banks that have reported executive compensation so far. Wells Fargo & Co. CEO John Stumpf, for instance, received $17.9 million, the bank reported this month, up slightly from the year before as the San Francisco bank completed its merger with Wachovia Corp. and delivered record profits.

Vikram Pandit of Citigroup Inc. – which the Fed said would fail to meet some capital standards under the stress scenario laid out in the latest round of stress tests – earned $14.9 million in 2011. Staff writer Andrew Dunn contributed.

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