BankAmerica Exec's Pay Soars to $21.2 Million

Bloomberg News

BankAmerica Corp. multiplied Chairman and Chief Executive David Coulter's pay almost fourfold to $21.2 million in 1997 as the San Francisco-based bank adopted a three-year option program. Under the new program, Coulter, 50, got stock options that BankAmerica said were worth $15.6 million when they were granted, according to the company's annual proxy filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also collected $987,500 in salary, a bonus of $4.25 million and retirement plan contributions of $439,589. In addition, BankAmerica's chief made $1.44 million by buying 20,000 shares, exercising options received in previous years. Directors said they increased Coulter's compensation in recognition of an 18% gain in per-share earnings plus a 46% rise in the bank's stock in 1997. BankAmerica shares fell $3.56 to close at $83.38 on the NYSE.

* BankAmerica unit BancAmerica Robertson Stephens & Co. agreed to pay $17 million to settle a class-action lawsuit accusing it of colluding with 36 other brokerages to rig securities prices on the Nasdaq Stock Market, investors' lawyers said. The San Francisco-based brokerage was the lone holdout from a landmark settlement last year between the other brokerages and investors who filed the 1994 antitrust suit. The agreement, submitted to U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet in New York for approval, would raise to $1.03 billion the value of the total settlement with all 37 brokerages. That's the largest judgment or settlement ever in an antitrust case, lawyers said. BancAmerica Robertson Stephens neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing under the settlement.

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