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Letter On Mica’s Salary Is Why CEO Pay Should Be Private

Regarding Stuart Perlitsh’s letter to the editor on July 7 about Dan Mica’s salary: if the NCUA board wants to know why they shouldn’t order credit unions to publish CEO salaries, here is the reason. While Stuart is understandably concerned about the health of his and other California credit unions, blaming it in any way on Mica’s salary is disingenuous.

Comparing Mica’s responsibilities to the ordinary CEO is apples to kumquats.

He runs a geographically dispersed, multifaceted organization with major political, operational, compliance, regulatory, PR and administrative components that are not vaguely related, in scope or impact, to the duties of a credit union CEO. To challenge his salary in that manner is absurd.

I personally am delighted that we have “the best CEO at CUNA that money can buy,” because he is returning value to the industry well in excess of his pay. I am not sure that every credit union executive could make the same claim.

This is an example of what may/will happen between CEOs, between second-tier executives and their CEOs, between members and their credit union, etc., if salaries are made public.

The average member will have trouble relating to the dollar figure without considering the difference in complexity and return for the decisions that are made at the top compared to all other decisions in a financial institution of any size.

I don’t want to impugn the capability of CEOs with negative bottom lines (our is still positive but it is not nearly as robust as it was several years ago–and neither is Bear Sterns’!), but some of them have to look at their own performance rather than the current economic environment for the source of their losses.

And it certainly isn’t because we pay a capable man a market-rate salary for doing an excellent job in a difficult position at our nationial trade association.

Dan–stay the course. You are worth it.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Credit Union Journal encourages reader feedback. Letters to the Editor can be sent to Managing Editor Lisa Freeman at lfreeman@cujournal.com. Letters can also be faxed to 561-832-2939 or submitted online at www.cujournal.com.

Rob Givens, CEO, Mazuma Credit Union

Kansas City, Mo. (c) 2008 The Credit Union Journal and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.cujournal.com http://www.sourcemedia.com

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