Barclays awards top managers $53 million in shares

Barclays has given its top dozen executives nearly 32 million pounds ($53 million) in share awards, 20 percent lower than a year ago, partly due to a drop in its stock price.

The British bank has faced a wave of shareholder criticism over its decision to raise bonuses last year despite a fall in profits and is under pressure to cut costs at its investment bank, which is the subject of a third strategic review in as many years.

Skip McGee, head of Barclays Americas, was awarded nearly 9 million pounds worth of shares under bonus plans from prior years, the bank said on Tuesday, the highest payout among Barclay's top managers but far less than the 17 million pounds awarded to Rich Ricci, Barclay's former investment bank chief, last year.

Ricci left the bank a month after cashing in his stock award. He had been a lightning rod for criticism over "fat cat" bankers and his departure was part of chief executive Antony Jenkins' bid to overhaul the culture of the bank.

Comparisons with a year ago are difficult as only four individuals were on the executive committee in both years and it has been expanded to 12 members from 9 last year. The payments relate to vested bonuses that are now due.

Eric Bommensath and Tom King, who were appointed as co-chief executives of corporate and investment banking when Ricci departed, shared an award of over 12 million pounds with the bulk, or 8.6 billion pounds, going to Bommensath.

The fall in the amounts awarded largely reflects the 25 percent drop in Barclays' share price. Bommensath and King would have shared an award close to 17 million pounds had the share price not fallen by a quarter.

Jenkins, who has waived his bonus as chief executive for two years running, received an award valued at 3.8 million pounds under previous, deferred compensation plans. He received 1.64 million shares, down from last year when he received 1.8 million shares.

Barclays has said that Jenkins could be paid up to 7.2 million pounds this year. He will receive 1.1 million pounds in base salary, 363,000 in pension and benefits and a fixed allowance of 950,000. He could receive up to 1.9 million pounds in annual bonus and 2.9 million in long-term share awards.

Barclays' annual report published earlier this month revealed that 481 employees were paid more than 1 million pounds

last year - up from 428 in 2012. Eight workers were handed more than 5 million. However, more than half of the bank's total workforce of 140,000 earned less than 25,000 pounds. ($1 = 0.6008 British Pounds)

(Reporting by Carmel Crimmins; Editing by Stephen Powell and Anna Willard)