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Liberty Mutual’s Kelly explains pay

Chairman cites ‘accounting issue’

Liberty Mutual chairman Edmund F. “Ted’’ Kelly, under fire for receiving nearly $50 million a year from the Boston insurance giant, said Friday that an “accounting issue’’ made his compensation appear larger than it is.

Kelly, who retired as chief executive last June after 13 years, but still serves as chairman, estimated his annual compensation package between 2008 and 2010 was closer to $13 million to $15 million, but was inflated by performance incentives, collected over the years and only recently cashed in.

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