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May 3, 2012

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MLP CEO Compensation Review: The Anti-Aubrey

Bad news gets all the press.  With the wild details that continue to emerge around compensation and activities of Chesapeake’s Aubrey McClendon, sometimes its good to highlight CEOs that are focused on their businesses and don’t need huge pay or sweetheart investment deals to incentivize them to get focused.  To that end, I’ve released my annual look at which MLP CEOs get paid the most and which get paid the least.
Click here to check out the full article and detailed lists.

The CEO with the lowest compensation package on the list is Richard Kinder (and has been since 2000).  He is sort of an anti- or bizarro- Aubrey McClendon.  He gets paid $1 in salary and $26mm in dividends from stock he owns.  Counting those dividends makes him the most highly compensated MLP CEO, but at almost no cost to the company (outside of the large IDR payments, but I believe those are unrelated in this context).  No matter what you think of his company, he has left personal millions on the table for the benefit of unitholders, and unfortunately that is unusual these days.  I think it would be more common if there were more “founder” CEOs out there like Kinder, Joe Craft and ones that have recently passed away like Dan Duncan and John Eckel, but for whatever reason as we see the MLP space mature, we’ll see more corporate and private equity backed CEOs than founder-types.

MLP Titans Rich Kinder and the late Dan Duncan (with stuffed lions).

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