Penn's President Gutmann a Vanguard fee millionaire

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University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann. (Tom Gralish / Staff Photographer)

The Inquirer reported last week that Amy Gutmann PhD will collect $2 million this year as President of the University of Pennsylvania, where energetic fundraising from the school's successful alumni has peaked on her watch. That's a big raise over her previous pay, noted the campus Daily Pennsylvanian -- but Penn trustees chairman David L. Cohen, a Comcast executive, called the raise"very much performance driven." To put that in context, Gutmann earns more than the bosses of Harvard or Princeton, but 40% less than the head of Penn's health system, Ralph Muller.

But that's not all Gutmann has to take home each year. An Ivy League presidency can be entree to the corporate director class, as Gutmann's predecessor, Judith Rodin (of the Citigroup, Comcast and American Airlines boards) shows. Since joining the boards of Vanguard Group mutual funds in 2006, Gutmann "has been paid almost $1.2 million in fees," Daniel P. Wiener, publisher of the Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors newsletter, tells me, after checking piles of SEC filings.

That averages $200,000 a year for her Vanguard board service. "As of 12/31/2012 she had investments in just 17 of the more than 180 funds she is tasked with overseeing," added Wiener, an advocate of risking one's own money in the funds one is paid to oversee. Vanguard, like Penn, has raised a pile of money since Gutmann joined. The group discloses its outside director fees, but not pay for its own bosses, like chief F. William McNabb 3d. Penn had no immediate comment.

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