Legg Mason Inc. paid its top six executives $10.5 million in bonuses -- up 38 percent from a year earlier -- for its fiscal year ended March 31, according to a proxy statement filed yesterday with federal regulators.
Legg Chairman and Chief Executive Raymond A. "Chip" Mason's bonus jumped nearly 37 percent, to $3.67 million. He also got a salary of $249,163, up about $9,000 from the previous year.
James W. Brinkley, president of the company's brokerage subsidiary, Legg Mason Wood Walker Inc., was paid a bonus of $1.65 million, up 50 percent from the previous year, on top of $223,750 in salary. Richard J. Himelfarb, who heads the corporate and real estate finance activities for the Baltimore-based company, was paid $1.45 million in bonus, up 31.8 percent, and $219,163 in salary.
Theodore Kaplan, Legg's general counsel, said Mason's bonus is "generally in line with compensation for CEOs in our industry."
The bonuses are set by Legg's compensation committee, which bases them on how well the company performs that year, Kaplan said. "If the company's profits were to decline, his [Mason's] bonus would decline. If the company's profits increase, his bonus increases," he said.
Neither Mason nor Brinkley could be reached for comment.
According to the proxy, Mason owns 688,971 shares, or 2.49 percent of Legg. Included in his holdings are 78,915 stock options that may be exercised within 60 days after May 14. They had a market value of $3.6 million on March 31. The company granted Mason another 133,333 options that may be exercised at later dates.
Legg executives are benefiting from the longest-running bull market in history, which has propelled the company's performance to record levels. Its net income jumped 33 percent to $76 million for the year, and revenue rose 34 percent to $889 million. Net income per share increased by 25 percent to $2.80.
Legg's assets under management also soared during the year, to $71 billion, up 61 percent from a year earlier. Five years ago, Legg had $13 billion in assets under management.
The company's stock has been a winner, too. It is up more than 50 percent during the past 12 months. It closed yesterday at $57.625 yesterday, down $1.
Other top executives at Legg who received bonuses included Robert A. Frank, $1.35 million, up 77.8 percent; Edward A. Taber III, $1.3 million, up 30 percent; and Edmund J. Cashman Jr., $1.09 million, up 9.8 percent.
Pub Date: 6/13/98