Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) Chief Executive Officer Warren Buffett, who has said banker greed helped deepen the U.S. financial crisis, attracts the workers he wants with compensation that competes with Wall Street awards.
Berkshire gave $17.4 million in 2011 compensation to Thomas P. Nerney, CEO of its United States Liability Insurance Group; $12.4 million to Geico Corp. CEO Tony Nicely and the National Indemnity Co. unit gave $9.26 million to Ajit Jain, according to filings to state regulators. Berkshire, which is set to send its annual-meeting notice to shareholders today, said in last year’s proxy that Buffett’s salary remains $100,000 at his request.
Buffett, whose office in Omaha, Nebraska, is more than 1,000 miles from New York’s financial center, endeared himself to bank critics last year by decrying income inequality and calling for higher taxes on the wealthy. Still, his pay practices won praise from JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon, who said last month he would bet the top 20 or 30 people at Berkshire make more than the biggest earners at his bank.