Bear Stearns' Cayne collects almost $25m

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James Cayne, chairman and chief executive of Bear Stearns, took home total pay and perks worth just over $24.7m (€18.6m) last year. The Wall Street bank's top nine executives shared a total compensation pool of $116m.

Cayne was paid a 2004 base salary of $200,000, a cash bonus of $10.08m, restricted stock of just under $9.5m, and options worth nearly $5m.

Alan Schwartz and Warren Spector, the two presidents and co-chief operating officers, between them took home more than $60.5m. Alan Greenberg, chairman of the executive committee, was paid a total of $13.35m.

Bear Stearns said its compensation committee, which determines the awards for all senior staff at the bank, "believes that Mr Cayne's fiscal 2004 compensation was fair given the company's absolute performance and also its performance compared to its key competitors."

The bank described as "exceptional" its results for 2004, when profits after tax hit a record $1.34bn, up 16%.

Stan O'Neal, at Merrill Lynch retains the crown of best paid chief executive on Wall Street with a salary and bonus package of $34m.

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