Business Irish

Sunday 17 December 2017

Shareholder spring fails to stop €4.5m Kenmare pay

Roisin Burke

Shareholders inflicted an unprecedented protest vote against director pay at Kenmare Resources last Thursday.

Over 24 per cent voted against director pay details presented by the Irish FTSE 250 mining company at its AGM, and a further hefty 23 per cent withheld their vote on the issue altogether.

Managing director Michael Carvill's pay package increased by 10 per cent to €1.58m in 2011. Remuneration for his brother, former chairman Charles Carvill, rose by 45 per cent to €191,000. Overall director remuneration jumped by 18 per cent to a total of €4.5m.

It's the biggest shareholder kickup on director pay at an Irish company since the one against Michael Smurfit's earnings at his packaging empire way back in 2001.

Kenmare has commissioned MM&K, an external consultant, to review legacy contracts and to advise on directors' pay, a source told the Sunday Independent. There is a move on to comply more fully with FTSE standards in this regard. The bringing on board of an independent chairman, Justin Loasby is part of this process.

There was some work to be done on "standards of performance measures and maximum pay caps, and this process is evolving," the source said. "Existing contracts and remuneration practices are developing in line with expected standards and we have a little further to go."

Major Kenmare shareholders include £200bn investment fund M&G group, Blackrock and JP Morgan. Whether they took part in this mini 'shareholder spring' isn't known.

Meanwhile, takeover speculation continues to be rife, with Dupont, Rio Tinto and BHP all thought to be in the frame to buy, and NM Rothschild advising Kenmare.

Sunday Indo Business

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