Right now, we’re deep into proxy season and companies are disclosing all sorts of curious perks given to their top executives. Here’s a brief run-down of some of the more interesting ones I — and a few footnoted.org regulars — have found:
Room service: While $12,000 a year may not be a lot of money in the greater scheme of things, it’s still curious that the CEO of 1-800 Contacts (CTAC), Jeff Coon, got the company to ante up for what yesterday’s proxy describes as "domestic services". Now Coon only made $209K last year and didn’t get a bonus because the stock is down sharply. But it’s still unclear why investors are paying for Coon’s nanny or, perhaps, maid.
Good planning: One would hope that the top executives at a bank would already have good financial skills. But the proxy filed by WSFS Financial (WSFS) notes that the company provides financial planning services as a perk "to encourage strong personal financial habits." It’s not clear from the proxy how much the bank spent of providing this perk. But the irony here is pretty rich.
Charge it!: Executives at Federated Department Stores (FD) get something called an "executive discount on merchandise purchases". It’s not clear how much the discount is — non-executive employees typically get 25% off — but Vice Chairman Ronald Tysoe clearly took advantage last year, ringing up $105K worth of the discount. Only Thomas Cody, another Vice Chairman — the preliminary proxy actually lists five with the same title — came close. Cody’s executive discount was $94K.