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SNL: REIT CEO Compensation Soared in 2010

SNL Financial published a look at REIT CEO compensation that shows that the highest paid REIT CEOs saw a very nice boost in their compensation in 2010.

According to their research:

SL Green Realty Corp.'s Marc Holliday landed the largest total compensation during the year at $24.8 million, up 117.6% from the prior year. Under his leadership, SL Green's total return bested the SNL US REIT Equity Index total return by 6.4 percentage points, at 35.3%, and FFO per share grew 9.3% year over year.

And while Holliday's 117.6% year-over-year pay bump may seem high, other CEOs saw total compensation growth far exceeding that figure. David Simon, chairman and CEO of Simon Property Group Inc., saw the largest pay increase among the top 20 highest-paid CEOs and posted the second-largest total compensation.

In 2010, the company recorded a total return of 28.4%, and FFO per share fell 6.0% from a year earlier, while Simon's total compensation grew 430.0% to $24.6 million from $4.6 million. Simon's bonus climbed to $4 million in 2010 from $3 million in 2009, and he received $19.5 million in stock and option awards, up from $578,677 in the prior year.

Aside from Simon, several other retail REIT head honchos made the list.

Retail REITs ranked fifth through ninth on the list. Federal Realty Investment Trust CEO Don Wood made $9.76 million. Tanger Factory Outlet Centers CEO Steve Tanger received compensation of $9.44 million. Equity One CEO Jeff Olson got $9.15 million. And Macerich CEO Art Coppola was paid $8.99 million.

It was a big boost for all of them with Wood's compensation up 178.1 percent, Tanger's up 170.9 percent, Olson's up 301.5 percent and Coppola's up 54.5 percent.

All the retail REITs on the list posted total return growth in 2010. In addition, REIT share prices appreciated quite a bit last year.

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