Sunday 25 September 2016

The Punt: Heavey pay up at Tullow Oil

Published 16/03/2016 | 02:30

Aidan Heavey, chief executive of Tullow Oil. Photo: Mark Condren
Aidan Heavey, chief executive of Tullow Oil. Photo: Mark Condren
Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh, inventor of Sugru

Tullow Oil's share price has collapsed in tandem with the oil price, but the same can't be said of management's pay packets.

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Shareholders will be interested to read the figures released yesterday in Tullow's annual report show chief executive Aidan Heavey's package went from £2.38m (€3m) in 2014 to £2.84m in 2015.

Though his base salary remained the same, the rise came from a jump in benefits under the company's incentive plan.

CFO Ian Springett saw his package rise from £1.4m to £1.68m - also fuelled by incentive benefits.

Though the company's revenues dropped 27pc in the year, loss after tax reduced to $1.04bn from $1.64bn (€1.28bn).

Tullow's Remuneration Committee chairman Jeremy Wilson said: "the Group scored well on its financial, production, organisational and strategic targets for 2015, and the committee is particularly pleased with the progress of the TEN Project with first oil due, as planned, during 2016."

Trebles all round!

But nevertheless - Nevertheless, the shares the men own have substantially reduced in value - having begun 2015 at over £4 a pop, Tullow shares closed 2015 out at just over £1.60 each.

Each of the men held the same number of shares at the end of 2015 as they did in 2014.

That meant Heavey's holding went from around £26m in value to £10.4m.

I spy with  The Economist

The Economist magazine makes for great reading. The Punt is a big fan. We usually turn to the obituary page first, at the risk of sounding morbid, as the writing is often excellent.

But the jobs section sometimes has a few hidden gems in it as well, at least in the online offering. This week, amid the adverts for finance directors, human resource managers, economists and CEOs, are two advertisements that caught our eye. One is for the Central Intelligence Agency, and the second is for Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6.

The former is recruiting for operations officers, or spies to you and me, and candidates must be US citizens, have a four year university degree, and three years international business experience.

MI6 is recruiting for intelligence officers, under the tag line "Don't just watch world events. Help shape them."

In this case, you have to be over 21 to apply and the ad advises that only your partner or close family members be told of your application, "and you should make them aware of the importance of discretion".

The application process involves a competency based interview, which isn't very James Bond-esque.

Sugru inventor sticks at it

Irish entrepreneur Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh is doing well with her Sugru mouldable glue invention.

She's just secured a listing at the Woodies DIY chain in Ireland, which is owned by Grafton Group. The product will be available in 34 outlets.

Last year, the company behind Sugru - FormFormForm - raised £3.5m (€5m at the time) from 2,700 investors in a record crowdfunding campaign. One investor had stumped up £1m of the funding, and the funds were sourced from dozens of countries around the world.

It valued the business at about £27m, compared to the £2m valuation that was placed on it in 2013.

Kilkenny-born Ni Dhulchaointigh (pictured below) invented Sugru while studying for her Masters at the Royal College of Art in London in 2003.

It's an adhesive that can be moulded like play dough and can stick to almost anything. It turns into a strong, flexible rubber within 24 hours.

The product is now sold widely in the United States, having secured a major deal there with Lowes.

Last year, the product generated sales of about €5m.

There are expectations that FormFormForm could break even by 2017, but the sales figure last year was lower than anticipated. Still, they'll stick at it.

Irish Independent

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