Who will get to keep his or her multimillion-dollar pay package and who will have to settle for less? It's a question that will face Obama administration pay czar Kenneth Feinberg this week as he starts reviewing compensation plans for the 100 highest paid executives at AIG, Citigroup, Bank of America, General Motors, GMAC, Chrysler and Chrysler Financial.
The seven firms, which have received the most in bailout funds from the government, must submit the plans to Feinberg by Thursday.
Feinberg, who will focus on the companies' 25 highest paid executives first, will have the power to scale back pay packages except for those set in contracts dated before Feb. 12, which will be "grandfathered" out of the government's compensation restrictions and Feinberg's authority.
Nevertheless, some say, even if Feinberg can't use the the law to force compensation down, he can still employ public pressure to convince firms to voluntarily renegotiate pay packages.
So whose packages might catch Feinberg's eye? Below are a few of the Wall Street heavyweights at Bank of America and Citigroup who have made news in recent months for their seven-, eight- and, in at least one case, nine-figure deals:
Andrew Hall: As the head of Citigroup's Phibro L.L.C., a small but highly profitable commodities trading unit, Hall, who owns a castle in Germany, is now famous for commanding $100 million in compensation under a profit-sharing agreement with Citigroup. Though Hall's unit made some $2 billion for Citigroup in the last five years, Citi is now considering selling Phibro, the New York Times reported.
Late last month, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the $100 million payday was "probably a bit out of whack on any pay scale."
Sanaz Zaimi: Zaimi, a partner at Goldman Sachs, recently signed a two-year, $30 million contract to join Bank of America, according to the Times. Zaimi, who was stationed at Goldman's London office, will move to Bank of America's London office in 2010 to handle European, Middle Eastern and African business.
Fares Noujaim: A former Bear Stearns executive, Noujaim joined Merrill Lynch last year as a president overseeing business in the Middle East and North Africa. Months after Bank of America bought Merrill, Noujaim was appointed as Bank of America's vice chairman of investment banking. The New York Post reported that Noujaim was offered at least $5 million to stay at Bank of America in addition to a two-year, $15 million package he received when joining Merrill Lynch.
Bryan Weadock: Weadock, a former JPMorgan Chase bond salesman, joined Bank of America in exchange for a two-year contract, with the first year attached to a compensation package valued at $6 million in cash and stock, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Harry McMahon: Like Noujaim, McMahon has been offered a large payout to stay at Bank of America after working at Merrlll Lynch, according to the New York Post, but the size of the payout is unclear. McMahon is a 26-year-veteran of Merrill Lynch.
Stefanos Bitzakidis, Rachel Lord and Dan Petherick: Bitzakidis, Lord and Petherick are all senior traders whom Citigroup managed to hire away from JPMorgan Chase in recent months by offering multimillion-dollar guaranteed compensation over several years, according to the New York Times.