U.S. Pay czar says he is reworking old pay pacts
* Feinberg says he is reworking contracts
* Team is working on grandfathered deals
By Gina Keating and Steve Eder
LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, Oct 1 (Reuters) - The Obama administration's pay czar said on Thursday he was reworking compensation agreements for some of the highest paid employees at seven companies that have received government funds and hoped to make details public by mid-October.
"We have been quite successful in the last three or four months in renegotiating grandfathered contracts," Kenneth Feinberg said at an event at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law.
Seven companies in his review are: Citigroup Inc (C.N), Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), American International Group Inc (AIG.N), General Motors [GM.UL], GMAC, Chrysler and Chrysler Financial.
Grandfathered contracts have been a central issue in Feinberg's pay review. For example, he must rule on the pay of Citigroup energy Trader Andrew Hall, who is expected to make more than $100 million this year. There has been debate about if and how Feinberg would address Hall's pay, which stems from a contract signed before a government-mandated Feb. 11, 2009 cutoff for what was eligible to be reviewed.
Feinberg, who has held this position with the Treasury Department since June, met with White House and U.S. Treasury officials, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, on Wednesday, but details about the meeting were not disclosed.
He addressed a Chicago Bar Association event on Wednesday via teleconference, joking with the audience that he might have to move to Pluto to escape the fallout from his pay decisions.
Last week, Feinberg spoke at a conference in New York and said he would rely on formulas rather than caps in setting compensation. He said he hoped his rulings would set a precedent for forthcoming pay rules from the U.S. Federal Reserve that will affect pay at all Fed-regulated banks.
Feinberg has not made clear why he has been speaking around the country.
He has a great deal of latitude in making his determinations and can even claw back pay that employees have received.
After he makes his initial determination about whether to approve or disapprove pay contracts, the companies have 30 days to ask him to reconsider. Feinberg then has 30 days to make a final determination.
The Treasury has said that final determinations will be binding.
(Reporting by Gina Keating in Los Angeles and Steve Eder in New York; Editing by Toni Reinhold)
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