Ryan misses out on Perpetual love

There will be fewer love hearts and boxes of chocolates this Valentine's Day for the short-lived chief executive of Perpetual Limited, Chris Ryan.

There will be fewer love hearts and boxes of chocolates this Valentine's Day for the short-lived chief executive of Perpetual Limited, Chris Ryan.

It looks like he will have to settle for just a $1.23 million cash termination payment, some short-term bonuses and a swag of options.

Perpetual yesterday announced its shock break-up with Ryan - just eight days short of his first anniversary with the funds management company - citing irreconcilable differences.

Ryan's bust-up payment compares to the $871,000 termination payment paid last year to Perpetual's chief executive David Deverall, whose relationship with the company encountered seven-year itch issues.

Given Perpetual's chairman, Peter Scott, said yesterday he "agreed to disagree" with Ryan on how the company was run, it remains to be seen whether Ryan will fulfil all the targets in his short-term incentive plan that includes "behaviour objectives". He will also retain his 78,616 unvested options in the company that are still subject to various hurdles.

When Ryan joined the company on Valentine's Day last year, love was very much in the air. Aside from being paid a cash sign-on bonus of $500,000, he was given $136,400 to cover his costs of relocating from his old job in Hong Kong.

Perpetual's new chief executive, Geoff Lloyd, will be paid a $1.1 million annual fixed salary and will be eligible for short-term and long-term incentives. Despite being paid less than Ryan, Lloyd still must have a little left over from the $1.1 million sign-on payment he was paid when he joined Perpetual as its head of private wealth in August 2010.

There are some encouraging signs this relationship could go the distance. Lloyd seems keen to inject some spice into it.

In yesterday's announcement, he noted how he wanted to "reinvigorate" things and how he agreed with the board that the company needed to "work harder".

EQUALITY FOR ALL

Rarely does one mention civil rights and Goldman Sachs in the same sentence. But the chief executive of the company, likened by Rolling Stone magazine as a "great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity", Lloyd Blankfein, has lent his voice to a campaign pushing for marriage equality.

"America's corporations learnt long ago that equality is just good business and is the right thing to do," Blankfein said in a television advertisement for Human Rights Campaign.

Human Rights Campaign is the largest civil rights group in the US that represents the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

RAISING HOPE

It does not take much investor interest to keep one property outfit happy. The chief executive of Brisbane property company Cromwell, Paul Weightman, could barely contain his excitement yesterday following the group's latest raising.

Weightman said Cromwell was "extremely pleased with the support we've received, both onshore and offshore".

He was discussing the $36 million that was raised last week to cover the $78 million shortfall in Cromwell's one-for-six entitlement offer that was undertaken last year.

Cromwell had originally aimed to raise $114.4 million through the entitlement offer. Following last week's shortfall facility raising, it has now cobbled together $75 million through the offer. Mind you, unlike most other big listed property outfits (such as Goodman Group, Mirvac and GPT), Cromwell has managed to raise equity without massively diluting its share register.

HIGHS AND LOWY

Was the retail landlord Westfield preparing to do a deal or visiting the NSW Premier, Barry O'Farrell ?

That was the question posed by one CBD informant last week when he spotted the retail giant's co-head Steven Lowy striding through the entry of the Governor Phillip Tower complex.

Located in the skyscraper, to the left of the revolving door, are investment bankers Goldman Sachs and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, which would both love a sliver of any Westfield deal. Merrill was one of the 10 lead managers on last year's Westfield Retail Trust public offer.

Then again, situated in the adjoining Governor Macquarie Tower is the office of the NSW Premier, who would be happy to chat to Lowy given the huge revenue the malls generate for NSW through redevelopments. The more boring explanation was he was merely walking through the building to get to the other side.

Got a tip? srochfort@smh.com.au

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