Fat Cats Suffer Big Paper Losses

Wall Street's fattest cats are sharing in the pain of the stock market slump.

Chief executives of major financial companies saw their net worth skyrocket during the bull market, but the value of their company stock holdings and options has plunged by hundreds of millions of dollars in the past 2 1/2 months.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 18.3 percent from its peak on July 17 by the close of trading Thursday. The impact on some of America's most powerful money men in that same period was much more drastic, according to a study by Compensation Resource Group Inc., a Pasadena, Calif., consulting firm.

Travelers Group chief Sanford Weill took the biggest hit in dollar terms of the 13 CEOs sampled, with the value of his company stock and options dropping by $785 million, or 50.1 percent. His merger partner, Citicorp's John Reed, lost $196.5 million, or 50.6 percent, on paper.

In percentage terms, the hardest hit was Richard Fuld Jr. of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., who lost 66.3 percent, or $130.2 million.

The least affected in dollar terms was Hugh McColl of NationsBank Corp. (now BankAmerica Corp. as the result of a merger), who lost $36.9 million, or 35.2 percent. In percentage terms, the smallest drop was 11.4 percent, or $229.2 million, suffered by Charles Schwab, head of the discount brokerage that bears his name.

Among the losses suffered by other CEOs included in the sample:

  • Philip Purcell of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co.: $193.7 million, or 58.7 percent.

  • James Cayne of Bear Stearns Cos.: $191 million, or 52.2 percent.

  • David Komansky of Merrill Lynch & Co.: $164.7 million, or 58.1 percent.

  • David Coulter of BankAmerica Corp. (CEO until NationsBank merger, now president): $121 million, or 44.3 percent.

  • Walter Shipley of Chase Manhattan Corp.: $77.8 million, or 45.6 percent.

  • Donald Marron of PaineWebber Group Inc.: $74.2 million, or 43.9 percent.

  • Harvey Golub of American Express Co.: $58.1 million, or 36.5 percent.

  • Douglas Warner III of J.P. Morgan & Co.: $51.8 million, or 38.9 percent.