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Paramount Group chairman Albert Behler (Getty Images, iStock)

Timing is everything, as proven by Paramount Group CEO Albert Behler’s pay boost last year due to an options grant coming at the right moment.

Behler’s total compensation last year was $9.7 million, a rise from $9.3 million in 2020, Crain’s reported. The bump came due in part to options grant provided to the chief executive on Jan. 11, 2021. Behler had an ability to buy about 780,000 shares at a closing price of $8.63 per share; Paramount has since valued the grant at $1.6 million.

The REIT’s stock price fell by 5 percent in 2021, Crain’s reported, and is 26 percent down from its pre-pandemic level. The stock was trading at $10.90 per share on Thursday.

Behler’s compensation jump also looks stark when compared to some of his peers. A regulatory filing reported by Crain’s showed Empire State Realty Trust’s Tony Malkin saw his compensation drop by more than 20 percent last year.

It’s been a busy few months for Behler, who recently fought off an unsolicited takeover bid from Monarch Alternative Capital.

Paramount’s board of directors were unanimous in rejecting the bid, which came in at $12 per share, a 33 percent premium on what the shares were worth when the offer was made.

Behler claimed the all-cash bid undervalued the REIT, which executed more than one million square feet of leases last year. Behler didn’t close the door on an acquisition in the future, though.

The chairman also made a recent personal move. Earlier this year, the executive sold his 5,500-square-foot duplex at 1080 Fifth Avenue in Carnegie Hill for $12.1 million.

Paramount’s portfolio includes more than 8.5 million square feet of commercial space in New York City and 4.3 million square feet of office and retail space in San Francisco. Leasing activity in the portfolio rose 137 percent year over year in the fourth quarter and the REIT’s properties were nearly 92 percent leased on average.

[Crain’s] — Holden Walter-Warner