Howard Lorber banked $42.5M in 2015

Vector Group and Douglas Elliman chief saw compensation jump 40%

Howard Lorber
Howard Lorber

It pays to be the boss. Douglas Elliman Chairman Howard Lorber took home a whopping $42.5 million in total pay in 2015, according to regulatory filings.

The payday represents a 40 percent jump from last year’s compensation, which totaled nearly $30 million, according to a March 25 proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission by Elliman’s parent company, Vector Group Ltd., of which Lorber is president and CEO. (Lorber earned $9.4 million in 2013.)

The eye-popping numbers also came with a new, seven-year agreement for Lorber to remain in his position at Vector. As part of that deal, inked in November 2015, he was awarded 1.2 million shares of restricted stock.

“I love what I do,” said Lorber, 67, who owns an apartment at the Sherry-Netherland and is set to close on a pad at 432 Park Avenue. He told The Real Deal he has no intention of retiring, even though he’s eligible to do so. “I’m happy that I did a deal and I’m here for at least seven years – hopefully longer.”

Lorber’s compensation far surpasses that of his peers.

Richard Smith, the CEO of Realogy Holdings – parent to Elliman rival the Corcoran Group – took home $9.1 million in 2015. And Vornado CEO Steve Roth took home $10.85 million in 2015.

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In Lorber’s case, the big increase in 2015 came in the form of stock awards. This past November, Vector awarded Lorber $30 million in company stock.

His total pay includes a base salary of $3.1 million, which is subject to annual increases, as well as certain perks. They include use of a company car and driver, membership at two clubs, nearly $300,000 for use of Vector’s corporate plane and a $90,000 allowance for lodging and expenses.

Douglas Elliman had a banner year in 2015. The brokerage pulled in $637 million in revenue, a 17 percent year-over-year increase from 2014. The company closed sales of $22.4 billion in 2015, compared with $18.2 billion in 2014.

According to the proxy filing, Lorber holds a 5.9 percent stake in Vector. He holds 7.45 million shares of company stock, valued at $170.6 million based on a closing price of $22.90 per share on March 30.

Vector is not Lorber’s only source of income. He sits on the board of Nathan’s Famous, and pocketed $616,000 in 2015 for his role as executive chairman of the board of the hot dog company, according to regulatory filings. He is also a director of the Morgans Hotel Group.