Apr 24, 2019

Executive Compensation Abuse in the Insurance Industry

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Brian S. King
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UnitedHealth Group, parent of UnitedHealthcare, is the largest health insurer in the country. William W. McGuire, its CEO, is well compensated. Last year he made $124,774,000. Yes, that’s right. You can look it up here.

That’s a pretty big number. To get a better idea of what this really means as a practical matter, this amounts to $341,846.58 per day. It is $14,243.61 per hour. This is a guy who, even assuming Superman’s sleep requirement of 5 hours a night, earned $71,218.05 for last night's snooze.

But last year? That’s really nothing. The five year compensation total for Mr. McGuire was even more inconceivable: $342,284,000.

Now I don’t begrudge people making a lot of money. But I think there ought to be a fair ratio between one’s contribution to the business and what he's paid. You don’t have to be a genius to say that relationship doesn’t exist here.

Compensation like this causes otherwise reasonable people to call for caps on what folks can take home from their business activities. As the old saying goes, pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered. Mr. McGuire is well into hog territory.

My question is, why aren’t UHC shareholders speaking up about this abuse?

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