Citigroup risks Washington's ire over $100m pay package for energy trader

CITIGROUP is heading for a row with US pay tsar Kenneth Feinberg over a $100m (&pound;61m) in pay due to be awarded to energy trader Andrew Hall.<br /><br />The Wall Street bank is preparing to argue that Hall&rsquo;s payout should be exempt from a review of remuneration at bailed out firms, due to be launched by Feinberg this week.<br /><br />Citigroup executives say that his contract was signed before the law establishing the pay review was passed and is therefore legally entitled to the money.<br /><br />The law, passed on 11 February, says that employment contracts signed before that date should be exempt from review as long as the Treasury secretary approves them as valid contracts. But Treasury officials are believed to have indicated to the bank that they would consider the package excessive.<br /><br />Hall, who heads Citigroup&rsquo;s profit-making Phibro commodity trading operation, earned around $100m last year and is said to be on course to receive a similar pay packet this year.<br /><br />Feinberg, who was appointed by Treasury secretary Tim Geithener as part of the new law, will this week begin a review of pay policy at seven firms who received hefty government bailouts, including BoA.<br /><br />The firms have until today to present pay plans for their top 25 executives and their highest earners, after which Feinberg will have 60 days to approve them or otherwise.