To the surprise of many, Mario Gabelli is the highest paid CEO on Wall Street, and took home $85 million in 2013. What is unexpected is that, as manager of GAMCO investments which he founded in 1977, Gabelli is a mutual fund manager, and one would think that a higher risk hedge fund would have a more lavish salary. Of course, private equity firm heads might make more money, but SNL Financial was only rating CEOs of publicly traded companies.
It isn’t that Gabelli simply gave himself a huge raise, but he is being rewarded for success. Gabelli receives an incentive-based management fee of 10% of profits. In 2013, this rose 29%, which meant that Gabelli’s pay jumped from $69 million in 2012 to $85 million in 2013.
Distantly behind Gabelli in the number two spot is Henry Kravis of KKR Financial with $44.2 million, followed by Blackstone’s chief George Roberts with $44.1 million. Lloyd Blankenfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, was the highest paid investment bank chief, with a salary of $19 million.