Pay packages climb in 2010 for Aflac, TSYS top executives

Two of the top employers in Columbus — Aflac and TSYS — gave healthy boosts in pay packages to their chief executives in 2010, reports released today by the firms show.

The compensation of Dan Amos, chairman and CEO of supplemental life and health insurer Aflac, rose from $13.59 million in 2009 to $15.95 million, an increase of 17.3 percent, according to an annual proxy filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

With most executives, pay packages include base salary, stock awards and options, incentives and pension plan. Some top management at U.S. firms gave up bonuses three years ago amid the severe economic downturn.

In Amos’ case, there was no bonus last year, but he received about $4 million in incentive pay as the company navigated through the Great Recession. Last year, the firm posted a $2.3 billion profit on total revenue of $20.7 billion.

The base pay for Amos held steady at just under $1.4 million. Perks valued at $203,446 included use of company aircraft and security services, most of it spent on the latter to protect the multimillionaire.

In Thursday’s filing, Aflac noted the decision by Amos in 2008 to give up what is commonly referred to as a “golden parachute,” valued at $13 million, in his employment contract.

“Under his original employment agreement, Mr. Amos would have been entitled to receive three years of salary and bonus in the event of a change in control or certain other termination events,” the company said of the CEO, who is the son of Paul Amos, one of three brothers who founded the firm 55 years ago in Columbus.

Meanwhile, global credit-card processor TSYS hiked the pay package of Phil Tomlinson, chairman and CEO, from $4.03 million in 2009 to $5.77 million last year, up 42.9 percent, according to Thursday’s proxy filing.

The compensation included a base salary of $840,000 — the same as in 2009 — a bonus of $200,000 and incentive pay of $560,800. Tomlinson did not receive the bonus in 2008 and 2009.

As with Amos, the TSYS chief executive received perks. They had a total value of nearly $58,000 and included use of an automobile, security service and life insurance.

“As 2010 began, the (firm’s compensation) committee recognized that headwinds faced by our business in a challenging economic environment, including the loss of clients as a result of consolidation, lower than normal internal growth rates for existing clients, compliance with extensive new regulatory requirements, and overcoming the impact of the deconversion/termination fees paid in the prior year, would likely not allow for (earnings per share) growth in 2010 compared to 2009,” the company wrote in its SEC filing concerning top management’s incentive plan and overall compensation.

Despite those headwinds, TSYS managed to post a profit of nearly $194 million on total revenue of $1.7 billion in 2010. That left Tomlinson remarking that the company appeared to be gaining momentum heading into this year.

While Amos and Tomlinson were the top bread-winners at their respective companies, those second in command also were rewarded with hefty raises in 2010.

The compensation package of Kriss Cloninger, Aflac’s president and chief financial officer, totaled $8.67 million in 2010, up 51.3 percent from $5.73 million the year before.

Troy Woods, TSYS president and chief operating officer, earned a total package of $3.85 million last year, an increase of 24.8 percent from $3.08 million in 2009.

Aflac does business in both the U.S. and Japan. It employs nearly 4,000 people here at two large campuses, with 5,000 more working in Japan, which was hit hard a week ago by a powerful earthquake and tsunami.

TSYS processes credit cards and other electronic payments in North America, Europe, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region. The firm employs just under 7,800 people, more than 4,000 of those in Columbus.

Both of the companies will hold their annual shareholder meetings in May.

Aflac’s is scheduled for 10 a.m. May 2 at the Columbus Museum on Wynnton Road, not far from its corporate headquarters. The firm noted in its filing that former Georgia Gov. Joe Frank Harris, 75, under its bylaws, is not eligible for re-election to the board of directors, a seat he has filled since 1991.

TSYS will gather its shareholders 10 a.m. May 3 inside the auditorium on its campus overlooking the Chattahoochee River.