Category Archives: Wealth

WWE’s McMahon Takes Big Pay Cut — But Powerslams An Extra $1 Billion

by Categorized: Entertainment/Tourism, Politics, Wall Street, Wealth Date:

Vince McMahon’s pay at World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. fell by 30 percent last year to $1.7 million, a $732,000 decline. But the Stamford company’s CEO is hardly taking a face plant on the mat.

Oh yes, he happens to own 52 percent of WWE and his wife, former company CEO and professional political candidate Linda McMahon, holds another 12 percent share. Together, they saw the value of their stock rise by $419 million in 2013 alone.

Vince McMahon, second from left, and Linda McMahon, pose with family members in 2012.  Cloe Poisson/The Hartford Courant

Vince McMahon, second from left, and Linda McMahon, pose with family members in 2012.
Cloe Poisson/The Hartford Courant

Take that!

And since January 1, WWE shares are up another 88 percent, closing at $31.14 Wednesday on the New york Stock Exchange.  So the McMahons’ headlock on Wall Street has yielded another $700 million — not bad for less than three months of work.

If you’re counting, that’s $1.1 billion in added value since the start of 2012. No wonder Forbes named McMahon a billionaire for the first time earlier this month.

The company’s dramatic stock run-up in 2014 could be the result of an upcoming TV deal or a live streaming site. But it’s also most likely related to speculation of a buyout — especially since the McMahons, well into their 60s, own more than two-thirds of the company along with a daughter.

Vince McMahon with WWE's Triple H in Las Vegas in 2009. Getty Images

Vince McMahon with WWE’s Triple H in Las Vegas in 2009.
Getty Images

Bloomberg this week reported on the speculation, saying likely buyers would be giant media firms especially Comcast, already a distribution partner, or Disney, or perhaps The Madison Square Garden Co., controlled by Cablevision’s Dolan family.

The Motley Fool speculated on a sale to AMC Networks, another Cablevision spinoff that could become the wrestling juggernaut’s new TV home. But no one has reported any talks, and no one can predict what the McMahons will do — in the ring, on the air or in the boardroom.

We might learn more at the company’s April 25 annual meeting at its headquarters in Stamford, announced Wednesday. But don’t count on it. Even though investors own a third of the company, the McMahons control virtually all of the voting rights — so their hold on the firm is tighter than John Cena’s iron grip.

Tracking CEO Pay for Connecticut — An Up-And-Down Year At Top

by Categorized: Corporate finance, Wall Street, Wealth Date:

You may be angry about CEO pay in the tens of millions, or you may be proud to live in a land of opportunity — but you’re likely to react if you’re following reports of compensation from publicly traded companies, which come out this time of year as part of shareholder proxy forms.  This blog post compiles the reports for central Connecticut companies in one place.

Nolan Archibald, the $123 Million Man.

Nolan Archibald, the $123 Million Man.

Whatever you believe, it’s hard not to see many of these paydays as a national disgrace.

Check back often as I update the listing throughout proxy season, with links to stories in The Courant and other news outlets.

We’re still leading off with this one: Nolan Archibald, the former Stanley Black & Decker chairman, hauled in $123 million in 2013, one of the biggest payoffs in U.S. corporate history, and perhaps the biggest ever for a takeover ransom. The money was part of his 2010 deal to sell Black & Decker to Stanley.

Travelers’ Jay Fishman hauls in a $40 million catch but there’s plenty left over for the guys in Hartford.

Much less take-home in 2013 for Mark Bertolini at Aetna, but his promise of future stock totaled $28 million.

Thomas May of Northeast Utilities. Courant Photo

Thomas May of Northeast Utilities.
Courant Photo

NU transmits and distributes $11.8 million to CEO Thomas May in 2013, less than he earned in 2012 as his options exercises and stock vesting declined.

Recovery brings an $11.7 million package to The Hartford’s Liam McGee, with deferred compensation from 2010 coming due and higher share values for vested stock.


UTC's Louis Chênevert John Woike/The Hartford Courant

UTC’s Louis Chênevert
John Woike/The Hartford Courant

UTC’s board powered up Louis Chênevert’s 2013 package by 26 percent to $24.7 million, and it’s a good thing — since his CFO, Greg Hayes, cracked $20 million.

René Lerer, retired CEO of Magellan Health Services, navigates his way to a $17.8 million treasure including a $6 million bonus even though he was chairman throughout 2013, not CEO.

A slight decline to $8 million for George Aylward at high-flying Virtus.

At MetLife, West Hartford native and Hall High graduate Steven Kandarian brings in less than he did in 2012, $7.3 millio

Stanley CEO John F. Lundgren collected $28.6 million, a typical year for this cost-conscious, aggressive acquirer. (Same story as above by my colleague Brian Dowling.)

Cigna reported that its CEO, David Cordani, saw his total package mushroom to $17.8 million in 2013, as he has $11 million in stock vest last year.

Kaman’s Neal J. Keating sees his pay drop to $2.5 million, but he’ll really get closer to $4.9 million for 2013, when all is said and done.

Webster Bank’s Jim Smith endures a pay decline to $2.4 million, with no exercise of options of vesting of shares. Former president Jerry Plush, who resigned abruptly last fall, earned $3.2 million including a severance.

At People’s United Bank, Jack Barnes gains a $3.6 million package, an increase driven by vesting shares.

General Electric’s Jeffrey Immelt received sharply less in 2013, for a package totaling $11.3 million.

Hospitals aren’t public companies but the state compiles salary data for them, later in the year. Since hospital finances and layoffs are so much in the news, here’s last year’s story showing 18 Connecticut hospital executives pulling in at least $1 million in the prior year. We’re eager for an update.

Here is a March 15 Post by former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, the most widely read critic of U.S. CEO pay.
Chart from Reich post

Chart from Reich post

Here’s my 2013 overview for the 2012 pay year, with links to AFL-CIO’s “Executive Paywatch” database. Please note, AFL-CIO and others calculate CEO pay differently from The Courant. They count the current value of stocks and options in the year granted; we count stocks and options in the year when they are vested or exercised.

Vince McMahon Grapples His Way Onto Forbes Billionaires List

by Categorized: Wealth Date:

Apparently his wife didn’t spend the whole fortune on politics.

Wrestling mogul Vince McMahon, founder of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. of Stamford, has emerged on the Forbes list of the world’s billionaires with an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion.

Click here for a gallery of all 13 Connecticut billionaires

It’s unclear why McMahon’s wife, Linda McMahon, isn’t listed as co-owner of the fortune, which placed McMahon at No. 1,372 out of 1,645 billionaires.  Famously, according to the narrative of her two failed campaigns for U.S. Senate as a Connecticut Republican, the Greenwich couple built the business from bankruptcy in the ’70s, and both have served as CEO’s.

Vince McMahon, second from left, and Linda McMahon, pose with family members in 2012.  Cloe Poisson/The Hartford Courant

Vince McMahon, second from left, and Linda McMahon, center, pose with family members in 2012.
Cloe Poisson/The Hartford Courant

Linda McMahon spent a total of about $100 million on the two runs, in 2010 and again in 2012. That doesn’t seem so extravagant now.

One other Connecticut billionaire made his debut on the Forbes list that came out this week: Robert Citrone of the Southport section Fairfield, whose Discovery Capital Management hedge fund, in Norwalk, brought him to No. 1,465, with $1.1 billion.

McMahon and Citrone are both richer than the most famous newcomer to the Forbes list, Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook chief operating officer and Lean In author whose shares in the company lifted her to a net worth of $1.05 billion.

Click here for the Top 10 richest people in the world, led by Bill Gates

Connecticut’s hedge fund industry gives the state more than its share of billionaires, 13 in all. The richest is Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, based in Westport. His net worth: $14.4 billion, up from $12.5 billion a year ago, making him No. 69 on the worldwide list.

Politics aside, Dalio and the McMahons also have a friend in common, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who  offered Bridgewater $115 million to build a new headquarters in Stamford. The state has paid WWE at least $40 million in film and digital production tax credits, dating back to the Rell administration.

Investors Tell Morgan Stanley They’re Optimistic; More Fear In New York

by Categorized: Corporate finance, Wall Street, Wealth Date:

Investors across the nation with at least $100,000 in the markets told Morgan Stanley in a recent poll that they’re optimistic 2014 will bring gains, but those in the New York area, including Fairfield County, expressed more fear and caution.

Among about 3,000 respondents to the poll, by Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, “86 percent expect their investment portfolios to be ‘better’ or ‘the same’ at year-end, and 84 percent believe their financial well-being will be the same or better,” the company said.

The poll was taken during the fourth quarter of 2013, a bellwether year for stocks, before the declines of 2014.

Investors in the tri-state area were more concerned than those nationally about their families’ financial security, their ability to retire, having enough money for emergencies and market  volatility.  That makes sense, said Joseph Matthews, branch manager and first vice president at the Fairfield office of Morgan Stanley.

There is some familiarity bias associated with living in the tri-state area,” he said. “The people polled are more familiar with Wall Street.”

So, regardless of whether they actually anticipated the downturn that could become a full-on correction at the start of 2014, it’s less of a surprise to them, presumably.

As for types of stocks that might look good in 2014, technology firms led the way in the nation, at 79 percent, and in the tri-state area, at 72 percent, followed by energy, biotech and pharmaceuticals in slightly varying orders for the nation and the region. But other than pharmaceuticals, the sectors most prominent in the New York region, and especially in Connecticut, didn’t fare as well: finance, aerospace and insurance.

“The majority of investors nationwide said they were not knowledgeable alternative investments such as hedge funds, commodities and real estate although Tri-State region investors were more knowledgeable than other areas,” Morgan Stanley said in a written release.

The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points in the nation and 6.7 percentage points in the region.





Five Things You Need To Know About Income Inequality

by Categorized: Economy, Poverty, Wealth Date:

President Obama’s Dec. 4 speech on income inequality laid out his thoughts on an issue that’s been brewing since 1973. His State of the Union speech added some specifics, notably an executive order for a $10p.10 minimum wage for federal contractors. But there’s plenty he’s not saying, or barely touching.

1.  Rising income inequality is not mainly a result of public policies. What’s happening is that the value of work is declining in relation to the value of ideas and investment capital. Workers are paid less for their work. That’s not caused by something the government did or didn’t do. “The decisions we make on these issues over the next few years will determine whether or not our children will grow up in an America where opportunity is real,” Obama said in the December speech. Not entirely true.  It’s possible that Obama could affect the pay gap as much through the bully pulpit as through the minimum wage, collective bargaining rules and taxes.

2. The poor do better when the rich do fabulously better.  The old saw about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer is true much of the time, but often it’s only true for the very, very rich.  When the top 10 percent stay flat or barely move ahead, the working poor lose ground. But when the rich take a hugely bigger share of the pie, that’s when the working poor make headway, chiefly in the late ’90s (see chart). This is because the pie is growing at those times.

Change In Real Annual Household Income, By Income Group, 1979–2007:

Graphic by Economic Policy Institute

3. The real issue is living standards — income adjusted for inflation — and the real problem is that they’re falling for most families.  How much does the income gap matter if you’re seeing gains?  Yes, the way other people are doing matters to you, but consider this: When billionaire Edward Lampert moved out of Connecticut in 2012 in a huff over taxes, income inequality instantly improved in the state. Did the average Connecticut resident feel better?

4. Global competition and technology are not the main causes of the rising pay gap. Those are the old excuses, but research, including a lengthy report by the Economic Policy Institute in November, show that there’s something deeper going on that’s not explained by automation lowering demand for labor.  Certainly they are factors, said co-author and EPI president Lawrence Mishel.  But each gap — between the rich and the middle class, the middle and the poor, the ultra-rich and everyone else — has its own causes. For example, the 1 percent zoomed ahead because of CEO pay and the rise of Wall Street finance, and the middle fell behind the 90 percent because of globalization, deregulation, unemployment and privatization. More and better training is not necessarily the answer because someone has to do the dirty work.

5. Raising the minimum wage helps even the playing field but it doesn’t address underlying issue and it could hurt some people. The debate over whether a higher min-wage hurts the economy is endless. Clearly, raising the wage from its current. depressed federal level of $7.25 an hour would help matters because it would take full-time workers out of poverty.  Still, as Eric Rosengren, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, said this month in a Courant interview, the best way to raise workers’ bargaining power is by addressing unemployment. Even the liberal Rosengren said a sharply higher minimum could cause retailers, for example, to use more technology and fewer employees.


Do You Live In a Super-Zip ZIP Code?

by Categorized: Poverty, Wealth Date:

Here’s a new way to show Connecticut’s vast socioeconomic divides — in full, interactive color.

The Washington Post has made a map of every ZIP code in America, highlighting the nation’s 650 “Super Zips.”  Those are the ones where the percentile ranks in income and college education average at least 95.

Connecticut has a hefty 24 Super Zips, including 17 in Fairfield County, five in Greenwich alone.  The Hartford area has nine, in Simsbury, Avon, West Hartford and Glastonbury.


Hartford has a ZIP that’s almost-super, 06103 downtown, thanks in part to state subsidies for upscale apartments.  That ZIP is right next door to 06120, which comes in at a 1 ranking, the lowest possible.

Fairfield County has several 99’s — the highest ranking possible. There are none of those in the Hartford area, thankfully.  Ninety-nine is a bit extreme.

Report Card For The Nation’s Middle Class: A Big, Fat D

by Categorized: Economy, Jobs, Poverty, Wealth Date:

How do you feel about your buying power over these past few years since the recession supposedly ended? Barely treading water?

You’re not alone. Median household income for the nation was flat when adjusted for inflation, at $51,017 last year compared with $51,100 in 2011, the U.S. Census Bureau said Tuesday.

That’s the fifth straight year of flat or falling incomes, with declines totaling 8 percent. If you think the stagnant median — the point where half the nation’s 122 million households make more, half less — is a result of economic malaise, think again. Just since the end of the recession, buying power for the household in the middle is down by more than 4 percent, while total inflation-adjusted income in the United States is up by more than 5 percent and the major stock market indexes have doubled.


This is the national report card on the prosperity of the middle class. The grade: a big, fat D. And it’s not just a few lousy years: Median household income has fallen or stayed the same in 11 of the past 14 years since the last great run-up of the Clinton era, as income has jumped ahead by more than a quarter.

On Thursday we’ll see the state’s median, and we have no reason to believe it will be any better — especially since Connecticut’s four metro areas were all near the bottom of the pack in overall economic growth in 2012, reported separately Tuesday.

Poverty was also unchanged in the nation in 2012, at 15 percent, the Census report showed. The number of Americans with health coverage edged up, reflecting more people eligible for Medicare and slightly more young adults covered under their parents’ plans. But the tally of uninsured Americans, 48 million, was statistically unchanged from 2011.

Connecticut can expect to fare better in reducing the ranks of the uninsured when the numbers come out Thursday, as preliminary figures show. Poverty may also show a decrease in the state, which added an earned income tax credit in 2011. And there are straightforward ways to improve both of those measures.

But when it comes to the median household income figure, the Census report is a deep disappointment with no hope of an easy solution. Forecasters had predicted a small increase, but even that — which didn’t happen — would not have masked the struggle of typical families.

“For well over a decade households that would have, in prior periods, gotten ahead have failed to do so,” said economist Jared Bernstein, senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and a former ranking adviser to Vice President Joe Biden. “The extent of this disconnect is so profound that if it doesn’t wake policymakers up … I can’t imagine what would.”

To put it in perspective, the median climbed by 15 percent during the Clinton years, from $48,884 to $56,080 (in 2012 dollars), before the long declines. And even that Clinton-era run-up wasn’t as strong as in the glory years of 1947 to 1973, when the nation’s median multiplied, unfettered by global competition, with union membership near or above 25 percent.

Connecticut, usually in the top three states for median income, is following a similar pattern, except with more ups and downs as key industries rise and fall.

So how should we think about what’s happening?

Clearly, based on the fact that overall income is rising and income at the bottom is falling, the rich are seeing more gains. But it’s not just the plain vanilla rich, according to a recently released study based on IRS data — it’s the super-rich, the 1 percent, that has sucked in a disproportionate share of recent gains in income.

This isn’t class warfare. The problem isn’t that the rich are getting richer; power to them, at their best they create jobs. The problem, as Bernstein says, is the disconnect between economic growth and typical pay.

I tend to think the situation is hopeless at a time when Democrats and Republicans can’t even agree to pay the nation’s previously promised debts, when China is launching its own aerospace industry, when armies of insurance workers are losing their jobs to cheaper workers on visas from India, when large numbers of U.S. high school graduates basically can’t read.

In that view, we’re in a sort of permacession for vast tracts of working families, a downturn beyond the boom-and-bust cycles, in which the American empire declines in a more or less orderly way. A stagnating median household income number is not a sign of the empire’s decline, it is the decline itself. The median is to the economy what stock prices are to a publicly traded company.

Bernstein and others, without sugarcoating the lousy numbers, are more optimistic. After all, the U.S. economy is growing decently and, most important, it’s creating income at a nice clip. What we have is a failure of policy, they argue. It’s just a matter of finding a way to get that income back into the hands of the mass population — preferably right in the paycheck rather than at the back end with government supports.

“What we should focus on … is how we as a state and a community make sure that people are equipped to deal with the changes in the economy,” said Matt Santacroce, a policy analyst at Connecticut Voices for Children, a New Haven-based advocacy and research group.

Santacroce mentioned the unemployment trust fund, the minimum wage, the earned-income tax credit, programs for child health and job training. “On a broader level, what we can do is make sure that the state is producing workers that come out of our K-12 school system and out of our public university system who are equipped to handle the 21st century economy … really ready to go to work.”

All good stuff, all of it worthy, but it costs taxpayer dollars. Conservatives tend to think the middle class would do well if the government would get out of the way and stop spending money, and that disagreement is why it’s hard to gain much traction either way.

Bernstein sees a higher path than arguing about government income supports. The key is workers’ bargaining power, which only happens in times of full employment, when the jobless rate is low — such as the 1960s and the ’90s.

“If you conclude that the only thing we can do to help middle- and lower-income households is provide benefits once they’ve been smacked around by market outcomes, you’re really giving up the game,” he said. Instead: “Worry less about tweaking the tax code and the budget deficit and worry about what would it take to get the unemployment rate down.”

One of his possible solutions is to view the government as an “employer of last resort,” just as the Federal Reserve is a de facto lender of last resort.

That gets us right back to the partisan debate, but is also reminds us — on the fifth anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse and the government’s dramatic rescue — that if bailing out workers is socialism, then so is bailing out banks and automakers, and so is offering a tax-free ride to pharmaceutical firms and other companies that employ people and conduct research, and so is handing $115 million in state taxpayer dollars to the world’s biggest hedge fund to make sure it stays in town.

Economic Revolution At A Business Conference

by Categorized: Economic Development, Economy, Public finance, Wall Street, Wealth Date:

By now we all know that income and assets are so wildly unequal that U.S. economic progress is threatened, nowhere more than in the rich-state, poor-state of Connecticut. But we don’t expect the hue and cry about disparity to come from Wall Street.

It happened on Friday at the annual post-Labor Day economic conference of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, where David M. Darst, managing director and chief market strategist at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, delivered a view of the markets. Darst talked about what happened in the meltdown of 2008, what’s happening now and, of course, the hard part — what kinds of assets he predicts will perform well going forward.

Routine stuff, except that Darst, colorful with a loud, raspy voice, happens to trade in the realm of perception, the subtle art of measuring wealth and psychology not based on fundamental conditions, but how people feel. And he is very tapped into the anger of the typical household — and the decreasing buying power.

“The country is going nowhere unless the 80 percent are going somewhere,” Darst said. “The people who do a lot of the work get no respect.”

He added, “You need societal revulsion with the status quo, leading to…structural reform.”

For emphasis, Darst said in his next life, he wants to “come back as an employee of the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles,” presumably to rise up and demand the respect that he said clerical employees just don’t get.

“We will get structural reform,” he said. “Maybe things have to get worse for you to demand it.”

This was a CBIA conference? I checked my press packet and sure enough, Darst is one of the leading Wall Street denizens. His presentation listed 78 appearances on CNBC, by date, and 18 on Fox Business.

Darst didn’t say what, precisely, he meant by structural reforms and he bolted soon after the talk, but it was clear he was talking about the sort of fairer allocation of resources that comes from a more civilized economic system. As for political civility, which most of us agree is a crucial missing element to righting the U.S. economy, he said, “The day we get that is the day I see Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner in a hot tub together.”

Dave Chappelle needs to learn a thing or two from this guy about how to handle a Hartford audience.

I looked around and saw John Harrity, a longtime labor activist and Machinist Union official, among the bankers and economists. What, I asked Harrity, did he suppose Darst was talking about by way of structural reforms?

“It’s what we’ve been talking about all along,” Harrity said. “we really can’t afford to keep exporting job instead of products…the thing that scares me is, what’s the next generation going to do.”

Harrity allowed that the details matter, and exactly how reform happens will likely remain a matter of disagreement.

Darst wasn’t the only speaker at Friday’s conference talking about reform. David M. Walker, former U.S. Comptroller General — basically the national budget auditor — brought his message of tax and fiscal reform, part of his Comeback America Initiative.

Walker, who headed the Government Accountability Office under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, uses his Bridgeport address — “In the nice part of the city” — to advance his call for a total rethinking of property taxes and government services. (I wrote about Walker’s efforts in an April column.)

Walker is pushing for reform of public employee health and retirement plans, saying, “They’re unaffordable, they’re unsustainable.”

Sure, he favors collective bargaining, but with tougher bargaining by public officials who aren’t beholden to unions. Darst, too, had called for more leadership by people like Clinton and Reagan, “who can bust heads, and do it in a nice way.”

And with that, we had a perfect illustration of why reform isn’t happening anytime soon. Reform requires taking wealth away from powerful interests, and right now we can barely adopt budgets without shutting down the state and federal governments.

It is all a sign of the decline of the American empire. The good news is we are Great Britain, not Rome.

UTC’s Chênevert Among Richest CEOs? Really?

by Categorized: Aerospace, Management, Wall Street, Wealth Date:

Louis Chênevert became CEO of United Technologies Corp. in 2008 and has made something in the ballpark of $20 million to $28 million a year since then.

UTC Celebrates Education Assistance Program Milestone

Chênevert at a 2012 event. He’s the big guy in the middle.
Michael McAndrews/The Hartford Courant

That puts him in the 1 percent of the 1 percent, for sure, but could it tie him for 4th place on the list of richest CEOs of Dow Jones companies?  Wealth-X, a research firm on ultra-rich people, says Chenevert’s net worth is $430 million, tied with John T. Chambers of Cisco Systems.

Click here to see the list.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is No. 1 at $17 billion, wealth from his role as co-founder, not as CEO.  Hewlett-Packard’s Meg Whitman comes in at $1.2 billion.  Stephen Hemsley of UnitedHealth Group, who famously netted $102 million in the recession year of 2009, is No. 3 at $480 million.

How does Chênevert reach toward half a billion dollars after just five years in the big money? Wealth-X says it uses public and private sources, so we don’t know for sure, but it seems unlikely. Chênevert holds unvested stock and unexercised stock options worth about $145 million, according to federal filings. He also holds $49 million in UTC shares.

That gets him about halfway there, and his retirement package has to be worth a few tens of millions more.

By contrast, Jay S. Fishman, the Travelers CEO, holds a similar amount of shares, unvested stock and unexercised options, and he’s been CEO since 2004, making similarly crazy annual amounts. He’s also on the Wealth-X list, but only at No. 10 with a net worth of $220 million.

Both CEOs have boosted their own wealth dramatically by pushing share prices higher over the last five years: 16 percent a year for Fishman at Travelers, 12 percent a year for Chênevert at UTC.

Bottom line: Wealth-X might have overestimated Chênevert’s net worth and underestimated Fishman’s.  Neither one is close to making the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans,  which bottoms out at $1.1 billion. And other than as a scorecard, it doesn’t really matter. These guys are thinking legacy, not war chest.


The Highest Paying Public Job In Every State (Hint: Go Team!)

by Categorized: Public finance, Wealth Date:
coach map

A section of the map by

Who’s the highest paid public employee in every state? Yes, it’s the coach in most cases, as a new graphic produced by shows. Connecticut is the only state where the highest paid employee coaches a women’s team — UConn’s Geno Auriemma, of course. He took the top spot after Jim Calhoun retired last year.

Football is the biggest winner, but there are a few surprises. One state has a coach in a sport that’s neither football nor basketball. And one state has a top earner who’s a plastic surgeon at the medical school.

The author, Reuben Fischer-Baum, makes the case that the coaches often aren’t worth the money.  That might not be a popular opinion in Connecticut, where Auriemma just won his eighth national championship.



In March, Auriemma signed a 5-year contract that pays him a total of $10.8 million plus bonuses. Calhoun worked for two years under a 5-year, $13 million contract before retiring in 2012, when he made $2.3 million.

Kevin Ollie, the current UConn men’s coach, signed a deal that pays him $7 million over five years, plus bonuses.

Thanks to Bill Hosley for posting the graphic on Facebook.