independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Greencore bosses seek bumper bonuses

GREENCORE CEO Patrick Coveney could vastly enhance his €1.7m pay packet if a new incentive plan is voted in at the firm's AGM next Tuesday.

A generous scheme would apply to Greencore's three top people: the chief executive along with group chief operating officer Di Walker and chief financial officer Alan Williams.

Coveney's total pay for 2012 was €1.74m. Walker earned a total of €1.1m including bonus and benefits and Williams made €973,000. The scheme would replace an existing lavish arrangement that saw all three directors receive bonuses almost the size of their salaries last year. The new award plan could exceed salaries,and even double them.

The Greencore chief and two executive directors would make up to 100 per cent of their salaries, and a payout of even more over the 100 per cent mark can be earned "in exceptional circumstances", according to the proposal.

With Greencore's share price thriving and a chunk of the new incentive scheme being linked to share performance, this could augur well for the top trio in 2013. The windfall would also hinge on the underlying financial performance of the business.

This will be the first big Irish company AGM this year, and all eyes will be on how Greencore's vote goes after last year's mini 'shareholder spring' when several Irish companies saw protest voting on executive pay. An unprecedented 24 per cent voted against director pay at Kenmare Resources and more than 20 per cent of shareholders rejected Tullow Oil's pay hikes. In Britain, WPP, Aviva and Cairn Energy were among the firms where there was shareholder rebellion on big pay packets.

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