Marsh & McLennan CEOs Took Home $33M in Compensation in 2008

Marsh & McLennan Cos. paid out more than $33 million in compensation to its two chief executives that oversaw the company in 2008, according to an Associated Press calculation of figures disclosed in a regulatory filing last Thursday.

Michael G. Cherkasky, who served as CEO until Jan. 29, took home more than $8.2 million in compensation in 2008. His successor, Brian Duperreault, took home more than $24.8 million in compensation for the 11 months he served as the New York-based insurance broker’s CEO.

Cherkasky, who’s departure was announced by the company in December 2007, was awarded $83,333 in base salary for 2008. He also received more than $8.1 million in other compensation, which included a cash severance of $7.15 million. Following his termination of employment with Marsh & McLennan, Cherkasky became CEO of U.S. Investigation Services Inc., which agreed to pay Marsh & McLennan $10 million in exchange for the lifting of some restrictions of Cherkasky’s separation agreement.

Duperreault, a former CEO and chairman of ACE Ltd. — the Bermuda-based insurer Marsh & McLennan helped found in 1985 — was awarded $927,083 in base salary. He received a performance-related cash bonus of $3 million, and $88,376 in other compensation.

His 2008 compensation also included stock options and restricted stock valued at more than $20.7 million on the day they were awarded.

The Associated Press calculations of total pay include executives salary, bonus, incentives, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year. The calculations don’t include changes in the present value of pension benefits, and they sometimes differ from the totals companies list in the summary compensation table of proxy statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Cherkasky was ousted as CEO after presiding over weak earnings results for two years.

Last year was another tumultuous year for the financial-services industry, as the sector struggled amid the credit crisis that mushroomed throughout the year.

In February, Marsh & McLennan reported a loss of $73 million, or 14 cents per share, compared with a profit of $2.48 billion, or $4.53 per share, in 2007. A previously reported non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $540 million in the company’s risk consulting and technology segment contributed to the loss.

Total revenue grew 3.7 percent to $11.59 billion from $11.18 billion a year ago.