Amex chief brings a dollars 16m tab

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AMERICAN EXPRESS resumed its policy of paying unusually generous compensation to its senior executives in 1993, spending more than dollars 16m in compensation, share options and relocation costs for its new chief executive, Harvey Golub.

It was Mr Golub's first year as chief executive of the travel and financial services company. He was promoted to the job in February after the messy departure of James Robinson, who resigned under shareholder pressure.

Mr Golub, a former McKinsey consultant who headed Amex's IDS financial planning division until 1992, received dollars 7.3m in compensation last year, according to Amex's annual report to shareholders, filed earlier this week in advance of its annual meeting. In addition, he was awarded 400,000 restricted share options with a current value of dollars 2.8m, although they cannot all be exercised before 1997.

American Express also agreed to pick up the cost of moving Mr Golub from IDS headquarters near Minneapolis to the parent's headquarters in New York. While the transfer itself cost some dollars 780,000, the firm also assumed a dollars 5.2m loss on the house Mr Golub had been building for himself in Minnesota.

Mr Robinson, by contrast, earned about dollars 3m for his six weeks of service with the company in 1993 - the year American Express divested itself of the last of the costly acquisitions it made during his ambitious diversification drive in the 1980s.

In 1992, Mr Robinson received dollars 4.75m in salary and share options, of which dollars 975,000 was described as base salary. Mr Golub received dollars 776,000 last year in salary.