Golden opportunity to walk out well-heeled

FORMER Dexus chief executive Victor Hoog Antink received perhaps the best retirement present an employee could ever dream of a termination.

FORMER Dexus chief executive Victor Hoog Antink received perhaps the best retirement present an employee could ever dream of a termination.

Despite announcing his "retirement" last year, before holding more farewell parties than Johnny Farnham held farewell tours, Dexus disclosed yesterday that Whispering Victor was paid a $1.55 million "termination" payment after he left the company.

And while other mere mortals would usually be required to serve out an entire year before bagging a bonus, the former Dexus boss was also paid a $825,000 performance payment and $816,000 in accrued leave. All up, about $6.3 million for his final few months.

Despite Dexus' security price trading well below where it was in 2005, over the six years to his final full year, Hoog Antink saw his total remuneration go from $750,000 a year to $4.85 million.

The former Dexus boss will not be around to see whether the property trust records another above-25 per cent "no" vote to its remuneration report at its coming annual meeting.

The company has already attempted to head off any potential shareholder revolt by announcing earlier this month a pay freeze for new chief executive Darren Steinberg .

Dexus has also ensured it is only getting the best advice on how it should pay its executives. The company forked out more than $200,000 to Ernst & Young and Egan Associates last financial year.

Money in Minerals

MINERAL Resources is not kidding when it notes how its remuneration policy "is designed to promote superior performance and long-term commitment to the company".

The mining services company disclosed yesterday that its executive chairman of six years Peter Wade enjoyed a $481,000 bump up in his base salary last financial year to $981,000.

But Wade probably barely noticed this annual salary increase given the $25 million he pocketed in March from selling more than half of his stake in Mineral Resources. The sale proved timely, given the company's share price fell more than 30 per cent in the weeks after the sale.

The share sale came just after Wade also booked a fully franked $547,000 dividend cheque from the company. He is in line for another $425,000 dividend cheque in October.

The group's founder and major shareholder Chris Ellison also managed a doubling in his annual base salary to $872,000. Again chickenfeed when compared to the $41.3 million of shares he offloaded in March, just before the share price fall.

Ellison will be in line for a $8 million dividend payment in October.

Parties related to Ellison and Wade also collected a further $1.5 million in rent from the company. Meanwhile, the mining tycoon Gina Rinehart will collect a $4.55 million final dividend cheque from her 8 per cent stake in the company, which reported a 60 per cent surge in full-year profits.

Land of the lost

At least someone is excited about the country that is about to enter its third lost decade. "It sounds odd but that's part of the attraction," said a fired up AMP chief executive Craig Dunn yesterday about the world's third biggest economy, Japan.

"Obviously it's been a country that's had challenges economically for the last couple of decades," he added.

Dunn said the opportunity, however, was tapping into the second largest savings market in the world and investing it in other markets.

"It might be Aussie fixed interest, it might be a global real estate fund, it could be infrastructure debt funds in Europe, these are the sorts of things people want to invest in because they are high-yielding funds and that's what you want in retirement," he said.

Good to see Dunn is also excited about debt funds in Europe.

Bet's off on Brissie

TATTS Group's outgoing chief executive for the past six years, Dick McIlwain, ruled out returning to his home town of Brisbane yesterday, despite the gambling company's plans to move its head office there next year.

"Ah well, it's just one of those little ironies in life," said McIlwain, who moved from Brisbane to Melbourne to head the merged Tatts and UniTAB in 2006.

As for the legal action Tatts plans to launch against the Victorian government in relation to the loss of its gaming licence, McIlwain said: "It will save me having to look at the Queen's honour list."

Got a tip? srochfort@fairfax.com.au

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