Koelmel Pay Rises To $3.2M At First Niagara

March 22, 2012 Updated Mar 22, 2012 at 8:18 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by Allissa Kline

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Koelmel Pay Rises To $3.2M At First Niagara

March 22, 2012 Updated Mar 22, 2012 at 8:18 AM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. ( Business First ) The top executive at First Niagara Financial Group Inc. received a slight boost in total compensation in 2011, mostly as a result of a $110,000 base salary increase, a new regulatory filing shows.

John Koelmel, president and CEO of the Buffalo parent of First Niagara Bank, received $3.2 million in total compensation last year, according to the proxy statement filed March 15 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. That's up 3.7 percent from 2010 when he received $3.1 million in total compensation.

Koelmel's 2011 package included a base salary of $942,885. The year before, he took home a salary of $832,962.

Other components of his 2011 pay: $1.3 million in stock awards, $417,812 in stock option awards, $573,000 in incentive payments and $58,781 in "other" compensation that includes club dues, car expenses, a 401(k) plan and medical and group life insurance plans.

Total pay packages for the others:

• New CFO Gregory Norwood received $1.8 million in total compensation between his start date in April 2011 and the end of the year. His was paid $355,769 in base salary and $737,506 in stock awards. He received $219,705 in "other" compensation, a large sum compared to other named executives due to $187,258 in relocation expenses.

• Former CFO Michael Harrington was paid $703,953 in 2011. That's down from $913,972 the year before.

• Executive vice president Daniel Cantara III received a substantial boost in pay. His total compensation was $1.5 million in 2011, up 41 percent from $1.1 million in 2010.

• The largest year-over-year compensation increase went to Gary Crosby, an executive vice president at First Niagara. His compensation rose 52.7 percent to $1.8 million in 2011 from $1.2 million in 2010.

• Oliver Sommer, another executive vice president, received 45 percent more in 2011 compensation than he received in 2010. Sommer's pay package went to $1.3 million from $921,709.

The bank's pay information was released as part of the its annual shareholder meeting notice. The meeting is set to take place at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 25 at Larkin at Exchange, 726 Exchange St., Buffalo.

First Niagara is set to close its $1 billion deal to purchase 195 HSBC Bank USA N.A. retail branches on May 18.

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