Liam McGee turned down the chance to run the bailed-out Allied Irish Banks (AIB), where salaries are capped at €500,000 a year.
Mr McGee is CEO of Hartford Financial Services, one of the biggest insurance and wealth-management firms in the US.
Before he joined the US firm in 2009 he was tipped as the front-runner to manage AIB, following the nationalisation of the bank in the Republic.
However, it would have meant signing up for a maximum €500,000-a-year salary and Mr McGee took the job at Hartford instead.
In contrast, his starting salary at Hartford in the US was $1.1m (£700,000) in 2009, and has since risen to $1.4m (£900,000).
Last year, his take-home pay hit $7.9m (£5.1m), after he landed bonuses of $6.5m (£4.2m).
It was enough to see him ranked as the 39th best paid US financial services executive, according to research by Bloomberg.
Mr McGee moved to the US at a young age and is little known outside the banking world.
Before he moved to Hartford, and before being tipped for the top job at AIB, he headed Bank of America’s consumer and small business unit — serving 50m customers.