Former New South Wales premier Mike Baird raked in almost $900,000 in his first five months as a senior executive at NAB, the bank has revealed.
Mr Baird joined the big-four bank as ‘chief customer officer’ in April, three months after his shock resignation as premier of NSW.
Between April and September, he earned a cash salary of $535,766 plus a bonus of $227,754.
He also earned non-cash benefits, including super and share rights, worth $123,325, bringing his total earnings to $886,845.
That would make his pro-rata earnings for the year to just under $2 million.
While that may sound like a lot, it actually makes Mr Baird the second- worst paid of NAB’s 11 top executives, ahead of chief legal and commercial counsel Sharon Cook.
All nine other senior executives listed in the report earned comfortably above $2 million. Two of the three lowest-paid executives were women.
Chief executive Andrew Thorburn earned far more than any of them, with a total pay packet for the year of $6.63 million.
In total, NAB spent $34.5 million on remuneration for its top 11 executives, three of whom are women.
News of Mr Baird’s pay packet comes less than two weeks after the bank revealed it would cut 6000 jobs over the next three years – even as it announced a full-year profit of $5.3 billion.
In a report released on Tuesday, NAB blamed the job cuts on increasing automation.
Two weeks ago, Mr Thorburn said NAB’s new focus would be on becoming Australia’s “best business bank”, moving away from a cooling mortgage market.
Elaborating on that theme, the bank wrote on Tuesday: “High levels of household debt coupled with stagnant wages growth are impacting the housing market, and we have seen that reflected in fairly subdued levels of consumer confidence and discretionary spending.
“In contrast to households, business conditions are picking up across the economy, with NAB’s Monthly Business Survey this year recording conditions at their highest levels since the onset of the global financial crisis.”
Mr Baird sits in the business side of the bank’s operation – specifically serving large corporate and institutional clients.
Among other things, this involves financing big infrastructure projects – an area in which Mr Baird was very active as treasurer and then premier of NSW.
During his tenure in state government, he oversaw the sale of three major ports and a large chunk of the state’s electricity distribution network.
He used the proceeds of these sales to fund new infrastructure projects, in a strategy known as “asset recycling”.