CEO will be sitting pretty after Hilton goes public


Christopher Nassetta, president and chief executive officer of Hilton Worldwide. (Jeffrey MacMillan/For Washington Post)
October 6, 2013

Hilton Worldwide chief executive Christopher Nassetta stands to have a healthy payday when the McLean-based hospitality company goes public.

Nassetta already does pretty well, according to filings the company made last month with the Securities and Exchange Commission in preparation for the initial public offering by its current owner, the Blackstone Group.

For 2012, according to the filing, Nassetta earned $2.04 million, which included a base salary of $850,000 and a cash bonus of $1.08 million.

Even chief executives get a 401(k) match. Nassetta’s was $9,800.

He received use of an aircraft, a perk valued at $11,277, and $9,645 in associated taxes, for personal aircraft usage. The company picked up the tab for his expenses at company-branded hotels while on personal travel, which came to $40,962.

We asked Equilar, which conducts research on executive compensation, about the stock possibilities.

According to Equilar, Nassetta held 81,028,782 Class B shares valued at $36.61 million as of Dec. 31, 2012. These units all vest on the date when Blackstone no longer owns 50 percent of the company.

Nassetta also holds shares valued at $18.71 million as of Dec. 31, 2012. This award pays out in cash when Blackstone no longer owns 50 percent of the company.

In 2012, Nassetta received $41.61 million, which was from a long-term incentive plan and a grant of 5,000,000 restricted equity units. Both vested after his first five years with the company.

The value of the shares held by Nassetta can change based on the price of the public offering. The IPO could occur within the next year.

Breaking bread

The government shutdown was the main course — of conversation, anyway — among business bigwigs at last week’s dinner in Georgetown hosted by General Atlantic, the Greenwich, Conn.-based private equity fund with $17 billion under management. The firm invests in about 10 to 12 technology companies a year, with the amount of each investment ranging between $75 and $400 million.

The private equity firm is looking for Washington area investments with strong growth potential, according to Managing Director Anton J. Levy, who was master of ceremonies.

About 40 or so business types, and one politician, dined on grouper, beef and risotto at the second floor wine room of Cafe Milano on Prospect Street.

Fox News Channel anchor W. Bret Baier conducted a 15-minute off-the-record question-and-answer session with Virginia Sen. Mark Warner (D), an entrepreneur who made his fortune in cell phones.

Others in attendance included Capital One co-founder and General Atlantic special adviser Nigel Morris; General Atlantic special adviser and limited partner Raul Fernandez, who is also vice chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment; and GA operating partner and former General Electric chief information officer and senior vice president Gary Reiner; Steven Murphy of District-based Metalogix; former Federal Communications Commission chairmen Michael Powell and Julius Genachowski; Ballston-based Applied Predictive Technologies chief executive Anthony Bruce; well-connected uber-lobbyist Jack Quinn; entrepreneur Zach Buckner of Relay Foods; and Josh Larocca of Stroz Freidberg in New York.

The Buzz hears:

Designer Yvette Freeman, owner of Foundry antique furniture boutique on U Street NW, is upsizing to a larger retail space in the H Street corridor at 819 11th St. NE. The store will occupy 4,000 square feet across two levels in an historical carriage house that quadruples its current showroom space and position in Atlas Court Alley. Atlas Court Alley runs between H and I Streets, NE.

Ben Leiber’s Potomac Law Group hired Wendy Ackerman, former clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia. She worked at Shearman & Sterling in the District for 22 years before joining Leiber last week. Potomac Law is a twist on the traditional firm — a low-overhead law firm that advises corporate clients on complex legal matters.

McLean-based Fitness Connection, which is in 28 locations, got an investment from New York-based LNK Partners, a consumer private equity firm with more than $800 million under management. LNK’s partners have invested in or operated consumer and retail businesses, including Staples, Beachbody, Quaker Oats, Pepsi, Life Time Fitness, Gatorade and Levi Strauss. Fitness Connection was formed in 2007 with financing from WestView Capital Partners.

Peter Martino’s Annapolis-based Capital Teas had a soft opening at the Mosaic District in Fairfax County last week. It is the chainlet’s sixth store and its first in Virginia.The Grand opening is Oct. 11.

Thomas Heath is a local business reporter and columnist, writing about entrepreneurs and various companies big and small in the Washington Metropolitan area. Previously, he wrote about the business of sports for The Post’s sports section for most of a decade.
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