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Merrill's top 10 earners made $209 million in 2008: report
(Reuters) - Merrill Lynch & Co's 10 highest-paid employees got a total of $209 million in cash and stock in 2008, up slightly from $201 million they received a year earlier, the Wall Street Journal said, citing reviewed figures.
Andrea Orcel, the firm's top investment banker, was paid $33.8 million in cash and stock in 2008, the paper said.
New York's Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has been investigating whether billions paid in executive bonuses at Merrill Lynch ahead of its takeover by Bank of America were sanctioned by the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank.
Eleven top executives were paid more than $10 million in cash and stock last year, the paper said, citing people familiar with the situation. Another 149 received $3 million or more, the paper said.
The stock awards, which accounted for much of the compensation, have fallen sharply in value since they were made last year, according to the paper.
Much of the 2008 pay came from bonuses, since base salaries for top Merrill executives generally ranged from $200,000 to $750,000, the paper said.
Information reviewed by the Journal showed that some traders and investment bankers faced only small pay cuts last year, even though the Merrill units they ran posted significant losses.
Merrill could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters.
Cuomo said last week that BofA Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis and former Merrill Lynch Chief Executive John Thain have obstructed and interfered with his probe into the bonuses.
(Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore, Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)
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