Tracking CEO Compensation at Public Senior Living Companies in 2017

The top executives behind some of the largest publicly traded senior living owners and operators in the U.S. took home a pretty penny last year.

In 2017, leaders at real estate investment trusts Ventas (NYSE: VTR), Welltower Inc. (NYSE: WELL), and HCP, Inc. (NYSE: HCP) earned the most in total compensation, a catch-all term that includes base salary, stock awards, bonuses and non-equity incentive plans. That finding is based on a Senior Housing News analysis of public financial disclosures filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Ventas CEO and Chairman Debra Cafaro pulled in the most last year, with a total compensation of more than $11.3 million. Welltower CEO Tom DeRosa, meanwhile, claimed $10.5 million in total compensation in 2017. And HCP CEO Tom Herzog, who officially took the CEO reins on Jan. 1, 2017, saw a total compensation of $7.3 million in 2017.


While they didn’t earn as much as their REIT counterparts, the CEOs of three of the biggest publicly traded senior living operators in the country—Capital Senior Living (NYSE: CSU), Brookdale Senior Living Inc. (NYSE: BKD) and Five Star Senior Living (Nasdaq: FVE)—weren’t leagues behind them, either.

Capital Senior Living CEO Larry Cohen saw a total compensation of just over $3 million in 2017, while Five Star Senior Living’s Bruce Mackey took home more than $1 million at the end of last year, according to the filings.

Here’s the full breakdown of what other leaders at publicly traded senior housing companies earned in 2017:

One notable name not included on this year’s list is former Brookdale CFO Lucinda Baier, who became the senior living operator’s new president and CEO in February.

Her predecessor, Andy Smith, stepped down as Brookdale’s president and CEO earlier this year. In his final full year as CEO, Smith’s total compensation clocked in at about $1.3 million.

Another name not on this year’s list was Senior Housing Properties Trust (NYSE: SNH) COO David Hegarty, who announced his retirement earlier this year in April. Hegarty earned more than $517,000 in 2017 when factoring in his base salary of $300,000.

There were also some major owners of senior housing that were not included in this year’s list, such as Colony NorthStar (NYSE: CLNS) and Fortress Investment Group (NYSE: FIG). While those companies have significant senior housing portfolios, they also have holdings across a wide range of industries. By contrast, REITs such as Ventas and Welltower are focused on health care, with senior housing among their core investments.

It is also important to note that many of the listed executives likely took home a different amount than the SEC filings suggest. Though publicly traded companies are required to report a “fair value” for stock awards and options, that valuation is determined on the day they’re awarded, not cashed out, as the Wall Street Journal reported. Other fluctuating pay metrics, such as performance target incentives, may also change how much the executives earned.

Written by Tim Regan

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