Special dividends send HCA execs’ pay soaring

Top five took in more than $110M in 2012; No raises coming this year

The three special dividends paid by HCA Holdings in 2012 likely brought a smile to the faces of investors at Bain Capital and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the two titans of finance that led the hospital company’s 2006 buyout and 2011 IPO.

The one-time payouts in February, November and December of last year — which totaled more than $3.1 billion — also provided a massive windfall to HCA’s top executives. The top five officers at the Nashville-based company pocketed $57.4 million in cash on their vested stock options and another $1.5 million on their unvested share awards. Those payments accounted for half of the $113 million HCA paid to Chairman and CEO Richard Bracken, CFO Milton Johnson, Operations President Sam Hazen, National Group President Charles Hall and Service Line and Operations Integration President Bruce Moore.

Bracken’s pay package led the way at $46.4 million, with $22 million falling in the “other” category that includes the dividend payments. Bracken’s salary rose only slightly to $1.4 million, and he also was paid almost $12 million in new options and stock appreciation rights. Johnson was paid a total of $27.2 million last year, while Hazen earned almost $17 million. Their option and SAR allocations made up about 20 percent of those sums.

In its 2013 proxy statement filed this week, the compensation committee of HCA’s board of directors said the company’s 2012 EBITDA topped the target performance levels that trigger bonus payments by 3 percent.

Looking ahead to 2013, Bracken and his lieutenants will not be able to count on a raise this year. Combined, the five’s base salaries was almost $4.5 million.

Click here and search for “46,359,246” to view the summary compensation table for HCA’s top execs.