Bermuda blues…

It must be a real hardship to live in Bermuda (particularly in winter) judging by the amount of money companies are spending to provide a roof over their executives’ heads. Take Axis Capital Holdings (AXS). Both CEO and President John Charman, who made $2.6 million in salary and bonus last year, and Chairman Michael Butt, who made about $1.5 million in salary and bonus, got the company to kick-in another $180K each to cover the two executives’ housing expenses last year. Axis provided Global Reinsurance President William Fischer with even nicer digs: they spent $204K on his housing in 2005. Now I realize that Bermuda real estate is pricey. But given that the company has been covering these expenses at least since 2002, they might want to think about a more permanent solution.

Of course, Apex isn’t the only Bermuda-based company doing this. Assured Guaranty (AGO) paid $240K last year for President and CEO Dominic Frederico’s nest. Indeed, though Frederico made $2.7 million last year in salary and bonus, he doesn’t have to pay for much. The footnotes to the proxy provide a laundry-list of things the company paid for, ranging from $3K for family travel benefits to $20K for Frederico’s car. Indeed, the company even reimbursed the executive for his Social Security and Medicare taxes last year to the tune of $61K. Talk about Bermuda Blues!