Business Irish

Saturday 15 December 2018

Icon chairman Murray was paid more than the company's chief executive last year


Icon chief executive Ciaran Murray.
Icon chief executive Ciaran Murray.
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Icon chairman Ciaran Murray was paid more than the company's chief executive last year, despite stepping down as CEO himself at the beginning of March 2017.

Murray, who has had more generous pay packages than many of the top ISEQ20 bosses in recent years, was paid nearly $4m more in his final full year as CEO than his successor was last year.

Murray's 2017 package was worth $7.53m (€6.2m). His successor Dr Steve Cutler, who took the chief executive role when Murray moved to chairman on March 1 of last year, had a package worth $7.09m (€5.82m).

The figures were revealed in Nasdaq-listed Icon's annual report, published last week. Murray is still in an executive role as executive chairman, but will become non-executive chairman in May. He was paid a package of $10.7m in his last full year as chief executive. Under the deal that saw him move to chair, he was entitled to the same base salary as he had been getting as chief executive for more than six months, until October 17 last.

When he becomes non-executive chairman and thereby is no longer an employee, some of Murray's share options and restricted shares will have their 'vesting' accelerated - meaning they will become his entitlement faster. Other conditional shares will be forfeited. His executive chairman role requires him to "devote sufficient time to his duties for the company", according to Icon's annual report, whereas Cutler is required to "devote his full time and attention to his duties for the company excepting certain outside director positions authorised by the company".

The Leopardstown-based firm, which has a market cap of more than $6bn, had a strong year last year with net income up more than 7pc to almost $282m.

Its speciality is conducting clinical trials on drugs on an outsourced basis for other pharmaceuticals businesses. "Positive business win trends across all customer segments have diversified our business," Cutler said, adding it had also managed to reduce its reliance on its top customers.

Around 40pc of net revenues came from Icon's top five customers in 2017, and in its annual report it has flagged this concentration as a risk factor for the business.

Sunday Indo Business

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