Vodafone chief leads pay stakes with £5m

Amanda spotted this on the Guardian Unlimited site and thought you should see it.


Note from Amanda:

One of the few people to benefit from the myth that masts are safe!


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Vodafone chief leads pay stakes with £5m

Nils Pratley
Friday June 10, 2005
The Guardian

Vodafone chief executive Arun Sarin collected £2.7m last year by exercising share options and received a pay and benefits package potentially worth £4.9m.

The sums confirm the status of Mr Sarin, an American who became chief executive in July 2003, as one of the highest remunerated bosses of a British company.

Share option windfalls have been a rarity at Vodafone in recent years because the group's share price has never regained the heights achieved during the technology boom of the late 1990s.

However, Mr Sarin still held options from 1993 when he was running US firm AirTouch, which became a Vodafone subsidiary. These converted into 5m options over Vodafone shares at 95p and the time-limit for exercising them was about to expire. Mr Sarin appears to have netted a gain of £2.7m from selling the shares at 148p.

On top, he enjoyed a salary of £1.17m, representing a £75,000 pay rise, and was awarded shares worth £1.15m under a short-term bonus plan. He also received benefits of £183,000, the bulk of which covered the costs of his move to the UK from the US.

The remaining £2.4m of his £4.9m package last year comprised shares awarded dependent on performance.

To receive the maximum award, Vodafone will have to rank among the 20% of telecoms companies in terms of shareholder returns over a three-year period. A company spokesman argued the performance conditions were "very stringent".

Man Group also confirmed its place among Britain's biggest payers yesterday as the hedge fund manager's annual report revealed its four executive directors shared £11.3m in pay and bonuses last year.

It still represented a fall for chief executive Stanley Fink, whose £3.81m was down from £4.52m a year ago - the bulk of the sum comprised a £3.3m bonus. On top, he received shares worth almost £400,000 under a share-matching bonus scheme.

But the bulk of Mr Fink's personal fortune is still his direct shareholding in the firm - his 4.5m shares are worth £63m.

Other members of the management team, which led Man's transformation over the last 15 years from commodity broker to hedge fund manager, have even larger stakes. Chairman Harvey McGrath, who was paid £362,000 last year as part-time chairman, has shares worth £83m and fellow non-executive Stephen Nesbitt has £76m worth.

Kevin Davis, head of Man's brokerage division, was the only executive to exercise share options during the year. He netted £280,000 that was on top of his basic package of £2.96m, of which £2.5m was a bonus.

Man's traditional high level of bonuses was maintained even though the group described its year only as "robust" compared to the spectacular growth it has seen in the recent past.

Most hedge fund managers have struggled in the face of increased competition and a seemingly tougher investment climate.

However, Man ended the year with $43bn (£23.6bn) under management despite a fall of 5.4% in the return from AHL Diversified, the key trend-following computer programme which is at the heart of the group's product portfolio.

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited


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