Archipelago Executives Share up to $66m

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Seven top managers at Archipelago are sharing a payout of up to $66m as a result of the electronic market's merger with the New York Stock Exchange.

The deal was approved by the members of each organisation last month and is expected to close before the end of March.

Jerry Putnam, chief executive of Archipelago, will take the bulk of the payment with $26.7m. Last month, he received $7.9m in cash and may vest restricted stock units worth $7m.

Putnam can also exercise three quarters of his share options, worth a further $11.8m based on Archipelago's share price, immediately before the deal closes.

Nelson Chai, chief financial officer, and Kevin O'Hara, chief administrative officer, will receive $8.4m each. They are followed by Mike Cormack, president, and Steve Rubinow, chief technology officer, who will each pocket $8.1m. Matthew Gelber, managing director options, will take home $1.7m in cash and restricted stock units, but has no share options.

Joseph Lombard, who runs Wave Securities, Archipelago's institutional electronic broker unit, will receive $4.5m even though he will not be joining the combined company, according to a filing last month with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Archipelago's filing said it had agreed with each of its executive officers "that accelerate certain payments and vesting that would have occurred in 2006, following certain terminations after the completion of the mergers".

The agreements were made last year to help ensure that some staff would remain with the combined company, NYSE Group, and to harmonise the compensation structure at Archipelago with that of the Big Board.

They said each Archipelago executive received a cash payment in lieu of the severance pay to which they were entitled at the end of last month, and they could fully vest their restricted stock units. Each one may vest up to three quarters of their stock options immediately before the deal completes.

The filing said the payments had been agreed with the NYSE. Last week, the exchange raised $62.3m from auctioning trading licences for the first time after ending seat sales at the end of last year.

Archipelago declined to comment.

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