Business Irish

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Female CFO for Kentz team

Published 05/04/2014 | 02:30

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AND SO to Kentz, the Clonmel-based global engineering firm. Kentz enjoys relatively little publicity, despite being a runaway success – having started life in 1920s' Tipperary, it now employs 14,500 people globally and is ranked on the FTSE 350.

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But it doesn't escape The Punt's keen eyes and we caught the news that chief financial officer Ed Power is stepping down. He's not leaving for sunnier climes, or resigning in a fit of pique; no, Mr Power is retiring. Stepping into his boots is Meg Lassarat, who until recently was CFO of Houston-based engineering firm Universal Pegasus.

We're glad to see a woman taking on this position – Kentz's senior team, like most engineering groups, is short on females. All of its directors are men and only one of its 12-strong management team, head of HR Sharon Paul, is a woman. We're curious to see what Ms Lassarat's approach is to shareholder activism. The company only recently abandoned its long-held resistance to giving shareholders a "say on pay" and is preparing to allow investors to vote on its remuneration report for the first time this year.

It has until now used its Jersey-registered status to avoid giving shareholders a pay vote. We're looking forward to hearing what's said at its next AGM; will there be much resistance to its chief executive's pay for example? Christian Brown's base salary was $780,000 in 2013, almost two-thirds higher than his predecessor received in 2011.

Irish Independent

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