"Fringe Benefits Add Up for Banamex Chair
Last month, Citigroup released this resignation letter from Roberto Hernández Ramírez, who had served on the bank’s board since 2001. In the letter, Mr. Hernández, who is chairman of Citigroup’s Banamex unit in Mexico, said that “it is time to step down.”
While Mr. Hernández isn’t standing for re-election, the billionaire — No. 601 on Forbes’ list of richest people — is likely to continue costing Citi.
After Mr. Hernández announced his resignation from the board, a Citigroup spokesman, Mike Hanretta, told Bloomberg that Mr. Hernández would continue to have access to a wide variety of corporate perks — and judging from last year, they aren’t insignificant ones.
In the proxy statement that Citigroup filed Friday, the company disclosed that Mr. Hernández received $2.21 million in “all other compensation” in 2008. That’s far higher than the amount received by any other director: according to the filing, only one other director, C. Michael Armstrong, the former AT&T chairman, got anything, and it was less than $3,000. It’s also a multiple of what each of Citigroup’s top executives received when it came to their perks.
In the filing, Citi states that it “provided certain security services to Roberto Mr. Hernández and members of his immediate family as well as office, secretarial and related services, and aircraft usage for Citi business-related purposes.”
While Citi provides a breakdown on perks for its top executives, the company doesn’t do the same for its directors, such as Mr. Hernández. So it’s hard to say what Mr. Hernández’s biggest expense was.
Citi’s beleaguered shareholders, or the taxpayers whose money helped bail Citi out, may be glad to know that this expense is declining. In 2007, the bill for Mr. Hernández’s perks was $2.6 million, and in 2006, it was $2.86 million.
– Michelle Leder, who runs the Web site footnoted.org, is keeping an eye on corporate perks disclosed in regulatory filings this proxy season. Some of her discoveries are appearing exclusively on DealBook for a special feature called “Perks Watch.”