Human Capital & Careers

2000 CFO Pay: Outgoing St. Paul CFO Liska Took Home $5.5 Million

Realizes nearly $4 million from exercised options.
Michelle GabrielleMarch 27, 2001

P.J. Liska, whose resignation as CFO from St. Paul Cos., Inc. becomes effective on April 1, took home about $5.5 million last year in total compensation, according to the company’s recently released proxy.

He earned about $6.9 million altogether over the past two years.

Last year, Liska earned $690,285 in salary, $941,250 in bonus and $82,848 in other compensation. He also exercised options with a total value of $3,775,000, according to the proxy. Total Compensation: $5,489,493.

In 1999, Liska earned $640,385 in salary, $701,250 in bonus, and $59,231 in other compensation. Total Compensation: $1.4 million.

Liska, who resigned on March 9, joined the St. Paul, Minn.-based insurance company in 1997. In a company press release, St. Paul chairman and CEO, Douglas W. Leatherdale, thanked Liska for his contributions, noting: “Paul played an important role in a number of major initiatives over the past few years. These include The St. Paul’s merger and successful integration with USF&G, our expense reduction program, the sale of our personal insurance operations, developing a highly successful capital management strategy for the corporation and assisting in the development and execution of a growth strategy for the company.”

As part of his 2000 bonus, Liska received 20,000 shares of restricted stock, as well as a $56,250 payout under the company’s “Key Executive Special Incentive Arrangement,” which was established in August 1999. The payout was based on the successful accomplishment during 2000 of several components of the company’s strategic business plan within established time and financial parameters, according to the proxy. In addition, Liska received $255,000 as a “make-whole” payment from the cash-out provision of a special one-time grant of stock awarded in December 1996 per his employment contract, and $630,000 under the annual incentive plan in year 2001 for performance in 2000. Another $206,250 was paid under the key executive special incentive arrangement and $585,000 under the annual incentive plan in the year 2000 for performance in 1999. In 1999, Liska was paid a supplemental bonus of $200,000 for 1998 performance.

In connection with his resignation, the company has agreed to pay, pursuant to the terms of an employment agreement dated January of 1997, and amended in April of 1999, a severance payment equal to 300 percent of his current salary and 300 percent of his average annual incentive award in the previous three years. The agreement provides for outplacement benefits and a cash payment equal to unvested Executive Savings Plus and Stock Ownership Plan balances. The agreement also includes typical non-compete and non-solicitation provisions that survive termination of employment for two years.

Liska will be replaced by Thomas Bradley, former SVP of finance.

In 2000, St. Paul’s net income came in at $993.5 million, up 24 percent from 1999. Net income for the fourth quarter of 2000 was $193.5 million, an increase of 46 percent from the same period in 1999. Total after-tax operating earnings in 2000 were $625.5 million, as compared to $636.3 million for 1999. According to the company, most of the decline was due to an increase in the effective tax rate in 2000.