What big peers you have! For CEO pay, Ocwen compares itself to larger companies

Like most publicly traded companies, Ocwen Financial compares itself to a peer group to help determine how much to pay executives.

In an unusual twist, the West Palm Beach-based mortgage company considers as peers a group of much larger companies. Before the stock market opened Monday, Ocwen’s market cap was about $660 million.

Among the 18 peers listed in Ocwen’s proxy filed Monday, just one, Walter Investment, is smaller. Another, PHH, is about the same size. The other 16 are much larger — including People’s United Financial and Carlyle Group, which have market values nearly 10 times that of Ocwen.

“The market review for the President and Chief Executive Officer was determined by selecting a peer group of companies for comparison that were recommended to the Compensation Committee by FW Cook & Co. based on an assessment of industry, the extent to which they compete in similar labor markets and for capital, the comparability of the scope and complexity of their operations and their market capitalization, among other metrics,” Ocwen said in its proxy.

Ocwen said CEO Ron Faris made 81 percent more in 2016 than in 2015, despite a 23 percent drop in the stock price for the year.

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