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Legg Mason's (LM) CEO Pay Package for FY18 Jumps 8% Y/Y

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Legg Mason Inc.’s (LM - Free Report) chief executive officer (CEO) Joseph A. Sullivan’s total compensation, including a cash bonus, had been increased to $9.7 million in fiscal 2018. This represents a jump of 8% from the prior fiscal on higher incentives, according to a regulatory filing of Jun 20.

In fiscal 2018, Sullivan’s pay package included salary of $500,000, unchanged from fiscal 2017, a cash bonus of $4 million (up from $3.32 million in 2017) and stock awards of $3.32 million (in line with 2017). He also received stock options worth $1.66 million, in line with the prior fiscal. Notably, 60% of incentive awards were paid in equity to Sullivan, while 40% was paid in cash.

The pay rise was the result of factors like the company’s improved financial performance in fiscal 2018, after three consecutive declines in salary. Moreover, many top executives of Legg Mason witnessed pay hikes, as the compensation committee feels that the company’s performance has improved, though it is below prior-fiscal levels.

For fiscal 2018, the Baltimore-based investment manager recorded total revenues of $3.1 billion, up 9% year over year. Moreover, net income jumped 17% year over year to $336.4 million.

Per the filing, the CEO’s compensation for fiscal 2018 is commensurate with "improved financial performance in a challenging environment" and reflects the "strategic repositioning of Legg Mason for future growth."

We believe Legg Mason has the potential to outperform its peers over the long haul, given its diversified product mix and leverage to the changing demographics in the market.

Legg Mason currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The company’s shares have lost around 14.9% over the past year compared with the decline of 4.4% recorded by the industry.


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