Ken Lewis's Reward For Destroying Bank Of America: $83 Million

ken lewis glasses

When Ken Lewis retired from BofA, he left with $83 million in cash and benefits–this despite costing Bank of America shareholders more than $150 billion in recent years.

According to a filing found by the Wall Street Journal on Friday, the former CEO was paid $4.2 million for the year 2009 and he’s also eligable for the following:

  • $57 million in pension benefits
  • about $11 million in deferred compensation
  • $4.6 million in vested and unvested stock
  • he also left with a life-insurance policy valued at $10.3 million

Two other Bank of America executives also did extremely well. Greg Curl took home $10.5 million and Thomas Montag raked in a whopping $29.9 million.

Rival banks Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan paid their CEOs $9 million and $17 million.

It’s worth noting that Ken Lewis almost singlehandedly cost Bank of America shareholders about $150 billion. 

In 2005, before the peak of the housing bubble and financial crisis, Bank of America and JP Morgan were both trading at about $50 a share.  JP Morgan has since recovered almost all the market value it lost in the intervening years, mainly because Jamie Dimon insisted on paying distressed prices for the assets he bought during the crisis (and getting Federal guarantees). 

Ken Lewis, meanwhile, swept in and paid way too much for Countrywide and Merrill Lynch, decisions that he was almost singlehandedly responsible for.  These two deals are the main reason that Bank of America is trading at $16.

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