Here's some advice: Become a CEO.
The CEOs of 15 top U.S. and European banks got an average raise of 12 percent last year, pushing their average pay up to $12.8 million, according to research by Equilar, an executive compensation data firm. The Financial Times first asked Equilar for the information and published the results on Monday.
In a lot of ways, it's the same old post-recession story: CEO pay up, corporate profits hit all-time high, wages as a share of the economy reach record low.
Many have had enough, and shareholders at some big banks earlier this year expressed displeasure at such high levels of executive pay. In April, Citigroup's shareholders voted against Citigroup's executive compensation plan in an advisory vote. Days later, 27 percent of Barclays' shareholders voted against Barclays' executive compensation plan.
Equilar says Brian Moynihan, chief executive of Bank of America, received the largest pay raise out of all examined CEOs. His pay package jumped to $7.5 million last year from $1.2 million the year before, or 513 percent. Really, Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit's pay rose the most last year, to $14.9 million from $1 in 2010, but Equilar classified that bump as "N/A."
Two big bank CEOs that outlasted the financial crisis continue to do fine for themselves too. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon got an 11 percent pay raise, less than the average, but good enough to make him the highest-paid bank CEO. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein received a 14 percent pay raise, coming in at $16.2 million.
Actually, the only U.S. big bank CEO whose pay fell was the Australian James Gorman, CEO of Morgan Stanley.