WESTERLY – Joseph J. MarcAurele, former chairman and CEO of Washington Trust Bancorp Inc., earned $1.6 million in total compensation in 2017, marking a 4.7 percent increase compared with the prior year.
MarcAurele, 66, retired this month from the top position at the Westerly-based parent of The Washington Trust Co. His compensation package, along with the pay of other top executives at the bank, was made public on Tuesday in documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
MarcAurele earned the greatest portion of his pay through his base salary of $585,000, representing a near $20,000 increase compared to 2016. He was awarded $524,981 in stocks and earned $310,781 as part of his nonequity incentive pay, which fell about $14,000 from the previous year.
The incentive pay is largely tied to company performance, meaning executives get paid more when the company performs better. Washington Trust has performed increasingly better each year under MarcAurele, but last year suffered a one-time $6.2 million charge on deferred assets as a result of the new tax law.
The charge hurt profit, which fell 1.2 percent to $46 million compared with 2016. The profit decrease translated into slightly less incentive pay to the top executives.
Nonetheless, the compensation committee in charge with setting executive pay decided the on-time tax-related charge didn’t reflect poor leadership, but rather an external and uncontrollable force. The executives were subsequently compensated with bonuses to offset the nonequity incentive-related decreases. MarcAurele earned a $51,188 bonus.
Edward O. Handy III, former president and chief operating officer, has taken over as chairman and CEO from MarcAurele. The 56-year-old executive made $940,379 last year, a year-over-year increase of 5.1 percent.
Shareholders as of Feb. 27 will get an opportunity to vote on the company’s compensation strategy at the annual shareholder meeting. Last year, 98 percent of the votes cast were in favor of the 2017 compensation proposal.
The meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m., April 24, at the Westerly Library.
The next three top-paid executives included:
- David V. Devault: $1.2 million (former vice chair, secretary and chief financial officer)
- Mark K.W. Gim: $1 million (president and COO)
- James M. Hagerty: $564,264 (executive vice president and chief lending officer)