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Executive compensation

Three Minnesotans are in Equilar’s top 100

CEOs at the largest U.S. companies received about a 3 percent increase in total compensation in 2015, with the median package valued at $14.5 million, according to a report from Equilar, a provider of executive compensation data based in Redwood City, Calif.

Only companies that filed their proxies before April 1 were examined for Equilar’s midseason report. It’s a preview of sorts for a larger list the data firm does each year with the New York Times at the end of the proxy season.

Equilar counts salary, bonus, other compensation (which includes perks and benefits) and the grant-date value of stock and option awards.

Three Minnesota CEOs are in Equilar’s midseason list of the 100 highest-paid CEOs. Inge Thulin, chairman and CEO of Maplewood-based 3M Co., was the highest-ranked Minnesota CEO at No. 46, with total compensation of $15.5 million. US Bancorp’s chairman and CEO, Richard Davis, was No. 70, with total compensation of $11.4 million. Ken Powell, chairman and CEO of General Mills, ranked No. 90 with $8.3 million.

Proxies of Minnesota’s two largest public companies, UnitedHealth Group and Target Corp., were filed after April 1. Best Buy, the state’s third-largest public company by revenue, has yet to file its proxy.

The highest-paid CEOs from the first half of the proxy season were Oracle Corp.’s co-CEOs Mark Hurd and Safra Catz. They each had $53.2 million pay packages. Robert Iger, CEO of Walt Disney Co., was third with total compensation of $43.5 million.

Equilar’s 100-largest companies based on revenue ranged from NextEra Energy, with $17.5 billion in revenue, to Apple, the largest with $233.7 billion. Apple was followed by Berkshire Hathaway, at $210.8 billion. The CEOs of the two largest companies are not the highest-paid. Compensation for Apple’s Tim Cook was below the median at $10.3 million. Berkshire CEO Warren Buffett, whose wealth comes largely from long-term stock appreciation, was paid $470,244.

Patrick Kennedy

Law firms

2 Twin Cities firms in American Lawyer 100

The country’s 100 largest law firms recorded a sixth consecutive year of revenue growth in 2015, according to the annual analysis by American Lawyer magazine.

However, despite tremendous volume generated by a record year in mergers and acquisitions, there is a flattening of demand for legal services, particularly in Europe, and among corporations that continue to ask for more for less from law vendors.

Revenue last year for the American Law 100, the biggest firms, rose 2.7 percent to $83.1 billion, the lowest percentage increase since the recession. Net income rose 3.3 percent to $328.1 million.

That amounts to $894,243 in revenue per lawyer. The 100 firms employed 93,000 attorneys in 2015, no change since 2014. Profits per equity partner averaged $1.6 million.

Two Minneapolis-based firms made the American Lawyer 100:

• Faegre Baker Daniels, a 672-lawyer firm that ranked No. 68 with $466 million in revenue and profits per partner of $800,000.

• Dorsey & Whitney ranked No. 98 and, with 512 lawyers, had revenue of $336.5 million and profits per partner of $600,000.

The most profitable firm in America was New York’s Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, which had an 18 percent revenue increase thanks to its mergers business, and had what Amlaw called a “staggering” jump in profits per partner to $6.6 million.


Clean-energy job growth plus new trade group

More than 54,000 Minnesotans work in the state’s clean energy industry, according to a report by Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust, based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Midwest business surveys. It is at

The report, which predicted 2,300 new jobs, or 4.4 percent growth, over the next year, was praised by Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, who said clean energy makes good economic and environmental sense.

Also, a new clean-energy trade group has been launched, whose board includes representatives from Cargill, Ever-Green Energy, Mortenson Construction, TruNorth Solar, Werner Electric and the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas. The group will promote the benefits of a diversified, growing clean-energy economy to communities, students and policy leaders, said Greg Mast, executive director of Clean Energy Minnesota at

“Clean energy has allowed our company to add numerous jobs in Minnesota and we anticipate tremendous growth,” said Randy Moberg, energy services manager for Werner Electric, with offices in Cottage Grove, St. Cloud, Mankato and other cities. “Proven clean energy technologies in solar, biofuels, efficiency and other disciplines offer business the ability to tailor these solutions to meet sustainability, goals, reduce costs and still be friendly to the [electric] grid.”