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Severance boosts pay of former Duke Realty exec

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Locally based Duke Realty Corp. last year gave its former chief operating officer an exit package that more than doubled his previous year’s total compensation. Meanwhile, Duke awarded pay raises to its CEO and the rest of his management team.

According to Duke’s annual proxy statement, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission this month, CEO Dennis D. Oklak, 56, earned total compensation of $3.4 million last year, or 4.1 percent more than in 2008.

Thanks to a hefty severance package, Oklak’s former second-in-command took home nearly as much.

In November, Duke announced the resignation of COO Robert M. Chapman, who earned $3.1 million in total compensation last year, or 103 percent more than he made in 2008. Most of the increase came from a $1.4 million severance package.

Duke blamed Chapman’s departure on the recession, which has forced the company to scale back new property development and focus on local leasing operations.

“On behalf of our associates, board of directors and myself personally, I would like to thank Bob for his many contributions to Duke Realty and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” Oklak said in a Nov. 9 news release. “Bob has been with Duke since 1997, and has been instrumental in overseeing our transformation into a national real estate company.”

Duke’s 2009 revenue was $1.34 billion, almost identical to 2008’s. But the company swung from a $114 million profit in 2008 to a loss of $271.5 million in 2009. Shares in the office, industrial and retail property owner and manager rose 22 percent in 2009, to $11.98 each. Monday morning they opened at $12.75.

Oklak’s $3.4 million in total compensation included a base salary of $635,385, a performance-based bonus of $400,000 and restricted stock worth $2.3 million. He also is the company's chairman.

Pay for other Duke top executives:

—Chief Financial Officer Christie B. Kelly, who joined the company in February 2009, earned $1.2 million.

—Executive Vice President and General Counsel Howard L. Feinsand earned $1 million, up 6.4 percent.

—Executive Vice President of Construction Steven R. Kennedy earned $1 million, up 2.9 percent.

IBJ uses the Associated Press formula to calculate executive pay. It gauges the value of compensation such as stock and options grants at the time they are awarded, not the time they are cashed in.

Duke spent a total of $1.5 million last year on compensation for its 10 independent directors, 16 percent less than it spent in 2008.

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  1. What became of this project? Anyone know?

  2. Scott, could you post an enlarged photo of the exterior of the building? This will be a great addition to Walnut Street. This area will only continue to develop with additions like this. Also, please give us more updates on the "Cultural Trail light" expansion. Also a great move for the city, as long as there is maintenance money set aside.

  3. Great story IBJ! Citizens don't have a real sense of the financial magnitude of supporting Indy's sports and tourism sector. The CIB was a brilliant idea for creating a highly integrated public-private partnership to support this sector from the economic activity it generates. Unfortunately, most folks think the benefits of that economic activity accrue directly to the City budget, and it doesn't. So though the CIB is facing lean times (covering its costs while maintaining minimally acceptable reserves), the City is operating with deficit - less tax revenue than expenses each year - with a very fragile reserve balance. That's why it's so challenging for the City to fund basic needs or new intitatives (e.g. pre-k education; new jail), and some credit rating agencies have downgraded Indy from it's past stellar AAA status. More reporting on City finances would be welcomed.

  4. Sure, I'll admit that it bugs me to see that the IBJ.COM censors it's blog posts almost as much as the D of I does when someone points out the falsehoods and fabrications. _____But I think it bothers me almost as much that Captain/Defender/Disciple get his yanked too. You see, those of us with a sense of integrity, humanity, compassion, and a need for fact based opinion WANT to see all of his screeds posted. It makes our point so much better than we can do it ourselves.

  5. We're conflating two very different topics. Voter fraud is a myth and excessive gun violence is all too real. I just hope rational gunowners decide to stop being shouted down by the, well, let's call them "less rational" ones.

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