Human Capital & Careers

What CFO Made $5B Less than His Boss?

It's Blackstone's Michael Puglisi,who nevertheless took in $160 million.
Stephen TaubMarch 12, 2008

Blackstone Group CFO Michael A. Puglisi made nearly $160 million last year, likely making him one of the highest paid finance executives at a publicly-traded company.

After deducting stock awards that haven’t yet vested, his total gains worked out to $57 million. However, like all of the other named executives at Blackstone, Puglisi received a salary of $175,000. His bonus amounted to $3.3 million.

Puglisi’s total earnings, however, pale in comparison to those of his boss, Stephen Schwarzman, who received a total of $5.13 billion from the same sources as Puglisi.

In his case, one-quarter of $4.77 billion worth of stock awards vested immediately.

Most of the finance chief’s gains were related to the private equity firm’s initial public offering last June, and the bulk of it came from $137.7 million in Blackstone Holdings Partnership Units that he received.

Of the total, however, only 25 percent was fully vested, with the remaining 75 percent vesting, subject to Puglisi’s continued employment, and payable in installments over up to eight years. Thus, the vested amount works out to $34.4 million.

Puglisi, who has been with Blackstone since 1994, also received $17.4 million from cash distributions before Blackstone went public, and an additional $1.9 million afterwards.

Before joining Blackstone, Puglisi served for 11 years in a variety of financial officer roles for Fosterlane Holdings Corp. and its subsidiaries. Prior to Fosterlane, Puglisi was with Arthur Andersen & Co.

At Blackstone, he has worked on personnel, financial, tax, compliance and administrative matters. Current responsibilities include firm-wide financial and tax budgeting, analysis, and reporting, as well as compensation matters and the firm’s treasury functions and credit facilities.

In the last CFO magazine compensation survey, done with Mercer Management to cover the 2005 year, Occidental Petroleum CFO Stephen Chazen rated at the top of the finance-chief pay heap, with a “mere” $33 million, including gains on options he exercised and long-term incentive-plan payouts.

CFO is preparing another finance compensation survey for this fall, covering pay for the 2007 year.