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February 28, 2021

Executive Compensation at the National Equity Fund (Chicago, IL)

by Anne Paddock

The National Equity Fund (NEF) is a tax-exempt, non-profit 501 (c) 4 – a social welfare organization – engaged as a national syndicator of low-income housing tax credits. There are 15 voting members of the governing body, 11 of whom are independent. 11 of the 15 (73%) directors are male while 4 of the 15 (27%) directors are female.

NEF reports total revenue of about $50 million ($55 million in 2018; $49 million in 2017) most of which is from low income housing. For the past two years the organization has spent about $6 million more than they have raised annually but because of capital additions, net assets have increased (to $46 million) rather than declined.

The largest expense for NEF is compensation for the 202 employees who received $32 million in compensation in 2018, which equates to an average compensation of nearly $160,000.  However, only 83 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation which suggests there were some very well compensated employees at NEF.  The 17 most highly compensated employees received $9 million in compensation, which equates to an average of $530,000 each. If total compensation was adjusted for the 17 most highly compensated employees, then 185 employees were compensated $23 million, which equates to an average compensation of $124,000 – still significant.

The 17 most highly compensated employees were reported to be:

  • $1,027,895:  Todd Fabian, VP Regional Manager
  • $  926,416:  Joseph Hagan, President and CEO, Director
  • $  636,280:  Maurice Jones, Vice Chairman and Director*
  • $  564,373:  Alex Denja, SVP, COO, CFO, and Treasurer
  • $  552,963:  Michael Jacobs, SVP, Originations
  • $  548,502:  Judy Schneider, SVP, Chief Risk Officer, Asst Secretary
  • $  537,388:  Mark Siranovic, SVP, Multi Investment Fund Markets and Asst Treasurer
  • $  525,895:  Kevin Boes, SVP
  • $  516,901:  Karen Przypyszny, Managing Director, Special Initiative
  • $  493,402:  Peter Harrison, SVP, Asset Management
  • $  466,237:  Michael Rogers, SVP, General Counsel and Secretary
  • $  465,681:  Ed Simon, SVP, Chief Information Officer
  • $  410,926:  Steve Petsos, NMSC SVP/COO
  • $  403,314:  Joseph Forgue, SVP, Project Management
  • $  339,860:  Michael Hearne, Director*
  • $  333,171:  Reena Bamblett, SVP, Proprietary Fund Markets
  • $  247,690:  Gregory Schuler, Former SVP, General Counsel/Asst Secretary

14 of the 17 (82%) most highly compensated employees are male while 3 of the 17 (18%) are female.

18 independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation; the five highest were reported to be:

  • $2,070,924:  Novogradic and Company, LLP, of San Francisco, CA for audit and tax services
  • $2,017,060:  Kraus Lam LLC, of Chicago, IL for legal services
  • $1,806,618:  Barnes & Thornburg, LLP, of Indianapolis, IN for legal services
  • $1,428,356:  Sparta Advisors, LLC, of Columbus, OH for consulting services
  • $1,322,480:  Cohn Reznick LLP, of Bethesda, MD for audit and tax services

$9 million was used for accounting, legal, and consulting services, which used up 16% of revenue in 2018.

For an organization whose revenue is only about $50 million annually and derived from low income housing, there are a lot of people and independent contractors with high compensation.

To read the IRS Form 990 (2018), click here.

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