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BlackRock hiked CEO Larry Fink's pay by 9 percent in 2017: filing

By Trevor Hunnicutt
Larry Fink, Chief Executive Officer of BlackRock, takes part in the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit in New York, U.S., February 8, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

By Trevor Hunnicutt

NEW YORK (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc <BLK.N>, the world's largest asset manager, raised total compensation for chairman and chief executive officer Larry Fink by 8.9 percent in 2017, according to a filing on Friday.

Fink was awarded $27.7 million in compensation last year, compared to $25.5 million in 2016, based on a calculation of his pay in line with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission guidelines.

But BlackRock said it raised Fink's pay for the year by 9.6 percent to $27.9 million, according to a set of calculations it prefers. The figures differ because BlackRock reports some incentive pay in a different year.

The company's president, Rob Kapito, was paid nearly $22 million, according to figures based on regulatory guidelines. Kapito and Fink were among BlackRock's founders in 1988.

BlackRock also rolled out in late 2017 multi-million-dollar stock options to a small group of Fink's and Kapito's deputies to keep them on board and for succession planning. Grants were made to Rob Goldstein, Mark McCombe and Gary Shedlin, according to the filing. Each are tipped as possible successors to Fink.

BlackRock's stock gained 35 percent in price terms during 2017, hitting $500 a share for the first time. That compares to a 26 percent rise for a Thomson Reuters index <.TRXFLDUSPINVM> that includes more than a dozen of its industry rivals in the United States.

New York-based BlackRock's net income grew by nearly 58 percent in 2017 to $5 billion while the assets overseen by the company topped $6 trillion, an industry record and 22 percent gain over the year prior.

In its most recent quarter, BlackRock, which manages the iShares-brand exchange-traded funds, generated higher profit by luring more money from investors even as stock and bond markets stumbled.

Fink is often quoted for his views on markets and corporate governance and has been listed among the world's best CEOs by the newspaper Barron's.

His pay is among the richest among U.S. financial firms, according to Thomson Reuters data covering listed corporations, and the company's pay to executive officers has drawn criticism from proxy adviser Glass Lewis & Co LLC.

JPMorgan Chase & Co chairman and chief executive Jamie Dimon earned $28.3 million in 2017, while Goldman Sachs Group Inc's <GS.N> Lloyd Blankfein was paid $22 million. Top hedge fund and private-equity managers often take home far more.

In its own analysis, BlackRock board's compensation committee credited Fink's leadership with helping the company develop new business and grow profits.

(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Bill Trott)