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Duke parents top list of highest paid CEOs

Duke parents bookend the Associated Press's list of the top 10 highest-paid CEOs in the S&P 500 for 2008. The list is based on filings and estimates from Jan. 1 to April 20.

No. 1 Aubrey McClendon, Trinity '81, earned $112.5 million as CEO of Chesapeake Energy. Duke parent Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, closes out the top 10 with $35.7 million. McClendon and Dimon both have daughters currently enrolled at Duke; their eldest children also graduated from the University.

Both men are big bankrollers of the University, too: McClendon has given some $16 million to his alma mater, and Dimon donated $100,000 in 2006.

Despite his distinction, it might be difficult for McClendon to break out the bubbly. McClendon is auctioning 9,000 bottles of his prized wine collection. The first group fetched $2.2 million. The second sale is expected this month.

The move came after McClendon was forced to liquidate his shares in Chesapeake. He sold 94 percent of his holdings, valued at $2 billion, in accordance with margin calls after a steep decline in the stock's price.

Seeking Alpha crunched a few numbers, and it seems McClendon made around $2,008,928 for every 1 percent his stock dropped.

In addition to stocks dropping, there also was some list movement from 2007 to 2008, when much of the financial industry was turned on its head during the deepening recession.

Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain, father of a graduating senior, was 2007's No. 2. (Thain was at the top of USA Today's analysis.) He earned $83 million that year, but resigned this January after his bank was taken over by Bank of America. Trustee John Mack, CEO of Morgan Stanley, was listed at No. 9 in 2007, with $41.7 million in compensation. But Mack, who remains both a Trustee and a CEO, saw his 2008 pay drop to $1.2 million for 2008.

Know of any other Duke affiliates at the top of the pay chain? Post a comment


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