Banks talk a big game about the importance of wealth management, and for many of the biggest, it's not just lip service. Some are putting their money where their mouths are. 

Of the 40 odd banks that own their broker dealer, eight list their wealth management executives among their five highest paid execs, according to an analysis of this year's proxy statements. 

Bank of America's David C. Darnell, vice chairman of the Global Wealth and Investment Management division, led the charge, earning $9.98 million in total compensation in 2014, the bank's fourth highest paid executive. Darnell's division, which includes both Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and U.S. Trust, "maintained industry-leading profit margins of more than 25%," the bank noted in the proxy statement.  In addition, the division increased revenue for Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust, 3% and 4%, respectively, and achieved record long-term assets under management flows of $49.8 billion.

David M. Carroll, senior executive vice president of Wealth, Brokerage and Retirement at Wells Fargo & Co., earned $9.69 million, up 9.3% from 2013. He was rewarded for leading the wealth, brokerage and retirement businesses to achieve significant revenue growth and record profit of $2.1 billion, the bank said in the proxy statement. 

Bank holding companies Huntington Bancshares Inc. and Comerica Inc. also paid top dollar for their wealth execs.  Huntington's James E. Dunlap, senior executive vice president and Regional Banking and Private Client Group Director, earned $2.8 million, due in part to his leadership in reorganizing the private client segment, which includes private bankers, trust administrators and other professionals from The Huntington National Bank and The Huntington Investment Co.

Curtis C. Farmer, vice chairman of Comerica's wealth management and retail bank businesses, earned $2 million, up 12% from 2013. His compensation was based on his performance in achieving financial plans for "Retail Bank, Wealth Management and Marketing," Comerica said, among other factors.

Gulfport, Miss.-based Hancock Bank and Bridgeport, Conn.-based People's United Bank were among the smaller banks whose wealth executives joined the ranks of their organizations' highest paid leaders. Clifton J. Saik, chief wealth management officer at Hancock, earned $1.4 million, while Galan G. Daukas, senior executive vice president of Wealth Management at People's United, earned $1.3 million, the first time he was named as one of the top highest-paid execs.

For details of the compensation these and other bank wealth execs received in 2014, be sure to view our slideshow slated for tomorrow.

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