2012 compensation for First Niagara CEO tops $3.7M

By THOMAS ADAMS - 3/18/2013 3:14:23 PM

First Niagara Financial Group Inc. president and CEO John Koelmel received nearly $3.8 million in 2012, up 16 percent from 2011, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows.

Koelmel was paid a base salary of $955,000, the 2013 proxy statement filing last week shows. He received stock awards of nearly $1.6 million, option awards of $568,000 and incentives of $639,000.

Koelmel’s 2011 package was more than $3.2 million. His 2010 package was $3.1 million.

Chief Financial Officer Gregory Norwood received total compensation of $1.4 million in 2012, down from $1.81 million in 2011, a filing shows. Norwood was hired in April 2011.

Chief Banking Officer Daniel Cantara III received total compensation of $1.4 million, Executive Vice President Gary Crosby, $1.8 million and Executive Vice President Oliver Sommer, $1.6 million.

The Buffalo-based parent of First Niagara Bank N.A. had profits of $140.7 million, or 40 cents a share, last year. That was down 24 percent from $173.9 million, or 64 cents a share, in 2011.

Operating net income attributable to shareholders for the year was $263.9 million, or 75 cents a share, a 1 percent decline from $266.7 million and 98 cents a share in 2011.

The drop was the result of lost interest income on the $3.1 billion in securities sold and continued pressures on asset pricing from the low-interest rate environment, the bank reported. It also included the impacts from the issuance of common and preferred shares in December 2011 to fund the May 18, 2012, purchase of deposits and loans involved in the acquisition of HSBC Bank USA N.A. branches, it reported.

First Niagara Bank ranks fifth in the Rochester market with local deposits of $1.5 billion as of June 30, 2012, data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. shows.

M&T Bank Corp. this month reported 2012 pay for Chairman and CEO Robert Wilmers to be nearly $3.4 million, up 14 percent from $2.9 million in 2011.

M&T is the largest bank in the Rochester market, with local deposits of $3.6 billion, FDIC data shows.

Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Co. is the second-largest regional bank in the market, with more than $1.6 billion in deposits. Its chairman and CEO, George Hamlin IV, was paid $996,450 in 2012, up 37 percent from $727,422 in 2011, a filing this month states.

(c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email