Unlike its mutual fund rivals, Vanguard Group Inc. hasn't announced layoffs. The Malvern-based fund group, Chester County's largest employer, has been rejiggering its pay package.

Base pay was increased last month, as much as 15 percent. Meanwhile, the company is reducing some workers' participation in Vanguard's popular "Partnership Plan," which awards payments on a point system based on company performance, while adding a December bonus based on personal evaluations.

The new formula appears designed "to get the increasing expense of the Partnership Plan under control," Vanguard-watcher Dan Wiener wrote in his newsletter, Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors.

"It's hard to say what the impact will be on a crew-member-by-crew-member basis," Vanguard spokeswoman Amy Chain said. "The intent is not to pay people more or less than previously, but to better align the rewards earned by each crew member with their personal performance and the overall performance of the company."

Fill 'em up

Sunoco Inc. is selling 164 East Coast service stations, convenience stores, and other properties through NRC Realty Advisors, the firm said yesterday. NRC helps companies such as Kmart, Shell and GE Capital raise cash by getting out of the landlord business.

Sunoco hopes to collect "about $180 million" by selling the properties and leases over the next two years, marketing chief Robert W. Owens told investors last month. Spokesman Tom Golembeski said the company would expect to sell additional properties to reach that total.

Sunoco said it had collected $133 million from the sale of 181 sites from 2006 to 2008.

Subprime out

The original subprime lenders, Beneficial Corp. and Household Finance Corp., pioneered high-interest buy-now, pay-later spending. When credit cards squeezed their business, they went into subprime home loans.

Now owner HSBC Corp. (the British-Chinese financial giant, also known as Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corp.) is shutting the last 800 Beneficial and Household offices as it writes off subprime losses.

That won't affect Philadelphia's Beneficial Bank, an unrelated, older, and more solvent lender; HSBC's New Castle, Del., credit card center; or HSBC's Chinatown and Center City branches, which are to stay open.

No deal

Shares of ICT Group Inc., the Newtown, Bucks County, operator of offshore call centers, fell $1.47, to $4.44, after it said its board had "determined that it would not be in the best interest of the Company to pursue the transaction proposed by Aegis Ltd. on March 2."

Aegis, of Mumbai, India, wants to roll up ICT with its other call centers in India, the Philippines, the United States and Latin America. The company offered $8 a share, driving ICT shares up $2.30, to $5.90, on Monday, before yesterday's news.

Veteran dealmaker Seth Lehr of LLR Equity Partners L.P. left the board recently.

Oily jobs

After Vice President Biden and his labor and contractor allies visited Philadelphia to kick off their "Middle Class Working Families" campaign promoting "green jobs," oil lobbyists saw an opening.

"The 1.8 million Americans who lost their jobs across the nation in just the last three months are probably more concerned about whether or not they can secure a good job than whether or not that job is 'green,' " Christopher Sheeron, a publicist for the American Energy Alliance, called to tell me.

Sheeron's oil-company clients say an easy way to create "well-paying, long-lasting jobs" on both coasts, and in oil-refining states such as Pennsylvania, would be to "expand offshore oil and gas exploration and production."

He supplied an AEA-sponsored study by Joseph Mason, a professor of finance at Louisiana State University and senior fellow at the Wharton School, which estimates 12,000 offshore drilling, refining, catering, and support jobs in New Jersey, 2,000 in Delaware, and an additional 1,000 around Pennsylvania's Delaware River refineries if Congress allows coastal drilling, which environmentalists abhor.

Contact staff writer Joseph N. DiStefano at 215-854-5194 or jdistefano@phillynews.com.