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Does First Merchants Corporation's (NASDAQ:FRME) CEO Pay Compare Well With Peers?

Simply Wall St

Mike Rechin has been the CEO of First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ:FRME) since 2007. This report will, first, examine the CEO compensation levels in comparison to CEO compensation at companies of similar size. Then we'll look at a snap shot of the business growth. And finally we will reflect on how common stockholders have fared in the last few years, as a secondary measure of performance. The aim of all this is to consider the appropriateness of CEO pay levels.

Check out our latest analysis for First Merchants

How Does Mike Rechin's Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

Our data indicates that First Merchants Corporation is worth US$2.2b, and total annual CEO compensation was reported as US$2.0m for the year to December 2018. While we always look at total compensation first, we note that the salary component is less, at US$549k. We further remind readers that the CEO may face performance requirements to receive the non-salary part of the total compensation. As part of our analysis we looked at companies in the same jurisdiction, with market capitalizations of US$1.0b to US$3.2b. The median total CEO compensation was US$4.1m.

Most shareholders would consider it a positive that Mike Rechin takes less total compensation than the CEOs of most similar size companies, leaving more for shareholders. While this is a good thing, you'll need to understand the business better before you can form an opinion.

The graphic below shows how CEO compensation at First Merchants has changed from year to year.

NasdaqGS:FRME CEO Compensation, September 20th 2019

Is First Merchants Corporation Growing?

Over the last three years First Merchants Corporation has grown its earnings per share (EPS) by an average of 22% per year (using a line of best fit). It achieved revenue growth of 8.7% over the last year.

This demonstrates that the company has been improving recently. A good result. It's good to see a bit of revenue growth, as this suggests the business is able to grow sustainably. You might want to check this free visual report on analyst forecasts for future earnings.

Has First Merchants Corporation Been A Good Investment?

Boasting a total shareholder return of 53% over three years, First Merchants Corporation has done well by shareholders. So they may not be at all concerned if the CEO were to be paid more than is normal for companies around the same size.

In Summary...


It looks like First Merchants Corporation pays its CEO less than similar sized companies.

Considering the underlying business is growing earnings, this would suggest the pay is modest. And given most shareholders are probably very happy with recent returns, you might even think that Mike Rechin deserves a raise! Most shareholders like to see a modestly paid CEO combined with strong performance by the company. It would be even more positive if company insiders are buying shares. Shareholders may want to check for free if First Merchants insiders are buying or selling shares.


Arguably, business quality is much more important than CEO compensation levels. So check out this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity and low debt.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.