- American Express CEO Steve Squeri received a special stock options grant valued at $15 million, the company said in a Wednesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
- The compensation and benefits committee of the card company’s board of directors approved the grant of performance-based stock options for Squeri on Monday. It also provided grants to Amex’s CEO of American Express National Bank, Anré Williams, and Amex’s Chief Legal Officer, Laureen E. Seeger, who received options worth $4.5 million and $3.5 million, respectively, the company said in the filing.
- The grants “are designed to further align executive compensation with long-term shareholder value creation and ensure leadership continuity through the next phase of the Company’s growth plan,” the company said in the filing.
The filing noted Squeri’s grant took into consideration “his outstanding leadership and contributions to American Express’ strong financial and operational performance throughout his tenure.” Amex spokesperson Andrew Johnson declined to provide additional comment Thursday.
The seven-year vesting period will be tied to the company achieving specified shareholder returns, with three-quarters of the options potentially available in three years, and one-quarter in four years, the filing noted.
Squeri has been chairman and CEO of the New York-based company since 2018. Squeri earned a compensation package worth $28.5 million last year, a 39% increase over the company’s 2021 target of $20.5 million, according to the company’s March proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
His 2021 base salary, which was $1.5 million, made up just 5% of his total compensation. The proxy noted the remaining share of his compensation was performance-based, and 67% was tied to its future performance.
Based on new card customer accounts and higher spending by cardholders, Amex in January rolled out a new growth plan that raised revenue expectations for this year and beyond.
In the third quarter, Amex reported revenue, taking into account interest expense, rose 24% to $13.6 billion, and net income just 3%, to $1.9 billion.