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Wall Street’s most powerful woman Jane Fraser sees pay rise to $26 million despite Citigroup profits falling almost 40%

Rodrigo Capote—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Citigroup chief executive Jane Fraser has been handed a 6% pay rise to $26 million in 2023, thanks to her major overhaul of the Wall Street giant.

Despite the bank’s profits falling almost 40% last year, Citigroup defended that Fraser's pay increase was based on her streamlining strategy, including the "most consequential set of changes to its organizational and management model since the 2008 financial crisis."

The New York-based bank awarded Fraser a base salary of $1.5 million and $24.5 million in stock and cash bonuses, according to the lender’s filing

The remuneration, which is up from $24.5 million in 2022, reflects the board's belief that Fraser’s “strategic and other priorities are sound and that she is executing on them promptly and thoughtfully, with an eye towards driving long-term sustainable growth, improved returns and enhanced safety and soundness,” it said in the filing.

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But the filing also notes that there is still "substantial additional work to be done" by Fraser at the third-largest U.S. bank by assets. Although Citigroup’s revenue rose by 4% last year, net income declined by 38% and diluted earnings per share fell 42%.

Still, small signs of a turning point have appeared: After three consecutive years of declines, Citigroup stock ended 2023 with a 14% gain.

Fraser’s still relatively underpaid

Fraser wasn’t the only Wall Street boss to get a pay boost this year. Rivals JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs also raised their chief executives’ pay.

The pay of JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon, whose bank reported record profits for 2023, rose by over 4% to $36 million. Meanwhile, Goldman lifted David Solomon’s pay by 24% to $31 million, despite profits dropping by the same percentage.

Even James Gorman, who stepped down as chief executive of Morgan Stanley at the start of 2024, was paid $37 million, up 17.5% year on year.

Bank of America’s Brian Moynihan was the only chief to get a salary cut. His pay fell 3% to $29 million.

In determining Fraser's pay, the compensation committee of Citigroup’s board said it also considered “competitive market levels of pay for CEOs of peer institutions”.

Yet, at $26 million, Fraser who is the only female head of a U.S. banking giant, remains the worst-paid of her peers.

Fraser’s turnaround job

When Fraser was named Citigroup’s CEO in Septemeber 2020, it marked the first time a major Wall Street bank would be led by a woman. 

The Scottish-born banking executive rose the ranks at the consulting giant McKinsey, before joining Citigroup in 2004.

When Fraser officially took the reins from Michael Corbat in March 2021,  she was tasked with a clear mission to simplify the company and drive long-term sustainable growth.

The bank began streamlining its 240,000-strong workforce in March last year when it cut hundreds of jobs in its investment banking division. Then again in November, Citigroup slashed 10% of upper management roles.

Just last month, the bank said it would cut a further 20,000 roles by 2026 in its bid to boost returns. The restructuring alone will reportedly save Citigroup $1 billion a year.

In one of Fraser’s “most dramatic moves yet”, the company announced that it would be shutting down its municipal underwriting and trading business by March 31, 2024.

As part of her strategy, Citigroup has also pulled back from consumer banking around the world, having sold off nine of 14 planned exits across Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Mexico.

Citigroup declined Fortune's request for comment.

This story was originally featured on Fortune.com