NYSE adds performance-based bonus to CEO's pay

NEW YORK, March 27 Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:58pm EDT

NEW YORK, March 27 (Reuters) - NYSE Euronext added a performance-based incentive to the employment agreement of its chief executive worth up to $6 million a year following its failed $7.4 billion merger with Deutsche Boerse, the company said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday.

The operator of the New York Stock Exchange earlier reported that its CEO, Duncan Niederauer, received $9.09 million in total compensation last year, up from $7.06 million in 2010.

The exchange's compensation committee said it added incentives to retain Niederauer at a critical time following the NYSE's failed tie-up with Deutsche Boerse. European regulators blocked the deal in February, citing antitrust concerns.

Niederauer's 2011 pay package included $1 million in base salary, a $2.75 million bonus, $4.68 million in stock awards, and just under $665,000 in other compensation.

The company said the new employment agreement with Niederauer adds a performance-based share award worth up to $6 million per year through 2015.

If the exchange matches the return of the S&P 500 over a three-year period, the annual bonus is worth $3 million. The bonus can rise as high as $6 million if NYSE shares beat the index return by 1 percent or more.

Niederauer can still get 75 percent of the share award if the NYSE's performance falls below the S&P 500's return by 25 percentage points, but below that, the bonus is forfeited.

The new agreement also doubles Niederauer's potential severance pay to two times his annual base salary plus a bonus if he is terminated without cause or if he leaves for "good reason."

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