Vornado, SL Green CEOs pocket dividends on shares they don’t own

Steven Roth collected over $1M on unowned shares in 2020 as Vornado cut staff and slashed costs

New York /
Jul.July 12, 2021 12:34 PM
Vornado chairman Steven Roth and SL Green CEO Marc Holliday (Getty, iStock)

Vornado chairman Steven Roth and SL Green CEO Marc Holliday (Getty, iStock)

The city’s biggest commercial landlords may have taken pay cuts last year, but that doesn’t mean they brought home less bacon.

While their companies shed staffers as commercial properties suffered through the pandemic, the chief executive officers of Vornado Realty Trust and SL Green Realty pulled in large payouts from dividends on shares they didn’t own, Crain’s reported.

Vornado CEO Steven Roth agreed to cut his salary in half after letting more than a quarter of his staff go last year; the executive still raked in over $1 million in cash dividends, Crain’s reported.

Marc Holliday, Chief Executive at SL Green earned $175,000 through the same means. Earlier this year, nearly two-thirds of the company’s shareholders opposed a compensation package that would have awarded Holliday a $14.8 million bonus — after a year that saw the commercial landlord’s revenues tumble 16 percent.

Nearly 10 percent of public companies pay executives dividends on shares they don’t own, according to research by Bucknell University finance professor Zi Jia. Crain’s found that a dozen New York CEOs, primarily those in real estate and finance, collected dividends this way.

Seth Bernstein, CEO of AllianceBernstein, raked in $989,000 and JPMorgan’s co-president Gordon Smith and CEO of asset and wealth management Mary Callahan Erdoes each earned over $450,000 through dividends on unowned stock.

“It’s a terrible practice,” Terry Adamson, managing director at Technical Compensation Advisors, told Crain’s. “The idea of paying dividends to those who don’t own the stock when people are losing their jobs, it’s insane.”

[Crain’s] — Suzannah Cavanaugh





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Vornado's Steve Roth and 220 Central Park South (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)
    Free and clear: Vornado pays off debt at 220 CPS
    Free and clear: Vornado pays off debt at 220 CPS
    Vornado chairman and CEO Steven Roth, and 608 Fifth Avenue (Credit: Getty Images)
    “Negative surprises”: Vornado execs talk retail struggles on Q2 earnings call
    “Negative surprises”: Vornado execs talk retail struggles on Q2 earnings call
    Steven Roth, CEO of Vornado and 640 Fifth Avenue (Credit: Getty Images and Vornado Realty Trust)
    Bank of China issues $500M to Vornado in refi of 640 Fifth Avenue
    Bank of China issues $500M to Vornado in refi of 640 Fifth Avenue
    257-263 West 34th Street and Cornell Realty’s Isaac Hager (Google Maps, Getty)
    Isaac Hager seeks bankruptcy for Penn Plaza stake, but Churchill resists
    Isaac Hager seeks bankruptcy for Penn Plaza stake, but Churchill resists
    RXR CEO Scott Rechler and 620 Sixth Avenue (Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal with Getty Images, Beyond My Ken, CC BY-SA 4.0 - via Wikimedia Commons)
    RXR sues insurers over infectious disease coverage
    RXR sues insurers over infectious disease coverage
    (Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty Images)
    Hamptons rental where fire killed 2 skipped safety inspection
    Hamptons rental where fire killed 2 skipped safety inspection
    Colette at 767 Fifth Avenue and restaurateur Juan Santa Cruz (Colette, Getty,Pablo Costa Tirado (…, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
    Want to join Safra’s private club at GM Building? It’ll cost you $125K
    Want to join Safra’s private club at GM Building? It’ll cost you $125K
    Tavros Capital’s Nicholas Silvers and Charney Companies’ Sam Charney in front of 24-05 thru 24-19 Jackson Avenue in Long Island City (Getty Images, Tavros Capital, Charney Companies, Google Maps)
    Tavros, Charney plan 55-story rental on long-stalled site
    Tavros, Charney plan 55-story rental on long-stalled site
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...