Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The chief executive and co-founder of office real estate investment trust Boston Properties Inc. received 2008 compensation valued at about $8.9 million, a 42 percent bump from his 2007 pay package, according to Associated Press calculations of figures disclosed in a regulatory filing.

Edward H. Linde’s salary rose 4 percent from 2007 to $950,000, though his cash bonus was cut by nearly 6 percent to about $1.9 million, according to a proxy statement filed Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Much of Linde’s compensation came via stock awards valued by the company at about $5.9 million when granted _ an 86 percent hike in the equity awards the executive received for 2007.

The increase is in line with the company’s compensation committee’s decision in 2007 to gradually increase non-cash pay over two years for its top executives so that it makes up a majority of their total compensation.

Linde, 67, also received $9,504 worth of perks, including $6,600 for parking, $2,580 for a company car allowance and $324 for life insurance premiums.

The Associated Press’ compensation formula is designed to isolate the value the company’s board placed on the executive’s total compensation package during the last fiscal year. It includes salary, bonus, performance-related bonuses, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year.

The calculations don’t include changes in the present value of pension benefits, and they sometimes differ from the totals companies list in the summary compensation table of proxy statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which reflect the size of the accounting charge taken for the executive’s compensation in the previous fiscal year.

The Boston-based company is among the biggest owners and developers of office properties, with properties in key markets such as Boston, New York, Washington D.C. and San Francisco.

Like other REITs, Boston Properties faced an increasingly challenging market in 2008. Demand for office space began to weaken as the U.S. economy’s woes increased, forcing many office tenants to cut jobs and scale back operations. Funding for commercial loans virtually shut down as the financial system unraveled.

For 2008, Boston Properties posted funds from operations of $423.8 million, or $3.49 a share. That was down 35 percent from $656.6 million, or $4.62 a share in 2007. Revenue for 2008 added less than a percent to $1.49 billion.

Boston Properties shares lost nearly 41 percent over the course of 2008.

The company will hold its annual meeting of shareholders May 19 in New York.

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