RBC chief earns $12.6 million for 2012, up from $10.1 million in 2011

TORONTO – Royal Bank (TSX:RY) chief executive Gord Nixon received a pay increase last year after taking a million-dollar pay cut in 2011.

The CEO earned $12.6 million in 2012, marking a raise from $10.1 million in 2011, according to the bank’s annual disclosure released Monday.

Nixon had seen his 2011 paycheque decline from $11 million in 2010, as the bank took a hit related to the sale of its U.S. regional retail banking operations and the resulting writeoff.

But the bank said the CEO met or exceeded all of the objectives set out for him by the board of directors in 2012, despite “challenging market conditions.”

Royal said it delivered record earnings of $7.5 billion while it also lowered the risk on its balance sheet.

While the 2012 salaries of other bank CEOs are still to be reported, TD Bank CEO Ed Clark’s pay came in at about $11.3 million in 2011, while Scotiabank’s Rick Waugh earned roughly $10.6 million that year.

Royal Bank’s management proxy circular showed Nixon received a base salary of $1.5 million. He also received $1.65 million in stock- and option-based awards and a $2.85-million cash bonus. He also received a $8.25-million mid- and long-term incentives.

Nixon’s base salary held steady with 2011, while his stock and option rewards slipped from $5.1 million a year earlier but his cash bonus increased from $1.75 million.

The CEO’s compensation was 12 per cent above target levels, compared to 10 per cent below targets in 2011.

Nixon also received $1.09 million in pension value and $44,877 in other compensation for 2012 to bring the total value of his compensation package to about $13.7 million.

He was the bank’s top paid executive, beating out both chief financial officer Janice Fukakusa, who made $4.6 million, and Canadian banking head David McKay, who was paid $5.13 million.

For the year, Royal Bank earned $7.54 billion, rising from $4.85 billion in 2011. Revenue grew to $29.77 billion from $27.43 billion.

Royal Bank is the country’s largest bank by assets and market capitalization, and has 80,000 employees serving 15 million clients. The bank has operations across North America and 49 other countries.

Shares in the bank were down 50 cents at $62.04 in trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.