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Top PNM Execs Get Incentive Pay

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Copyright © 2012 Albuquerque Journal

PNM Resources President and CEO Pat Vincent-Collawn was awarded $1 million in performance-based incentive pay atop her salary last year, according to the company’s 2011 proxy filed with federal regulators Thursday.

Her salary of $575,000 as well as the salaries of three of the company’s four other top officers were frozen at 2010 levels. The other officers also received incentive payments totaling $1.26 million.

The incentive awards, funded by shareholders and not customer rates, reflect the company’s improved business performance in 2011, a company statement said.

It highlighted the return of the company to a pure regulated utility with the sale of First Choice Power and exit of Optim Energy in Texas, improved financial health and a 2.7 percent reduction in operating expenses from the previous year.

Spokeswoman Valerie Smith said executives this year qualified for larger financial awards based on their achievement of customer satisfaction, employee safety, reliability and earnings goals set by the company’s board.

She said in light of a training accident that killed a company employee in Santa Fe in June, the management team donated the financial award for safety – about $123,200 – to a fund being set up in the employee’s memory.

According to the proxy, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Charles Eldred received a $400,000 salary in 2011 and $486,240 in incentive pay.

Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Alice Cobb, who left the company at the end of the year, had a salary of $300,000 and incentive pay of $311,770.

Senior Vice President and General Counsel Patrick Apodaca made a salary of $260,000 and received $318,677 in incentive pay.

Vice President and Controller Thomas Sategna, who was not affected by the freeze because he is not a senior executive, had a salary of $235,201. He received $148,302 in incentive compensation.

The company said $974,742 of the executives’ salaries was paid from PNM rates. The rest came from its other businesses such as TNMP.

The officers also received non-cash compensation in stock awards as well as life and health insurance and contributions to 401(k)s and retirement plans. The proxy shows significant jumps in stock awards because of a change from one- to three-year performance periods. Vincent-Collawn’s stock award, for example, is shown to be $1.53 million, up from $242,090 in 2010.

“The amount shown for 2011 actually include amount not yet earned that, if earned, would be payable in 2012 and 2013,” Smith said.

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