Time for a pay rise? Sayers it ain't so, Ron

Ausdrill Limited has lobbed one resolution that might encourage some of its shareholders to take the Occupy Wall Street protesters to the company's annual meeting in Perth next month.

Ausdrill Limited has lobbed one resolution that might encourage some of its shareholders to take the Occupy Wall Street protesters to the company's annual meeting in Perth next month.

The mining contractor is seeking approval for a three-year incentive scheme which could see founder and managing director Ron Sayers reap up to $6.8 million worth of "share appreciation rights".

Despite getting a $118,000 bump in base pay last financial year to $618,000 (excluding superannuation) and a $596,330 cash bonus, it appears Sayers needs more to keep focused.

"The directors (with Mr Sayers abstaining) believe that the future success of the company depends on the skills and motivation of the people engaged and overseeing the management of the company's operations," said the notice of meeting. "It is therefore important that the company is able to retain people of the highest calibre, such as Mr Sayers."

Sayers will automatically be up for one million of the four million "share appreciation rights".

This is because they are "designed to reward Mr Sayers for his past service" and "to reflect that his current base remuneration has been substantially below the market and secondly that the proposed issue of SARs is fair".

The next batch of three million SARs will be measured against total shareholder returns at Ausdrill against a "comparator group of other companies selected by the board". Just to keep Sayers happy, Ausdrill also bumped up his annual base salary to $750,000 for this financial year.

Sayers has also collected $4.2 million in dividends for last financial year based on his 36.8 million shares in Ausdrill.

Over the past decade, Sayers has seen his base pay jump 266 per cent.


Let's hope Ausdrill shareholders value Sayers more than one of their non-executive directors, Wal King. At the last meeting of shareholders, there was a 45 per cent "no" vote against the proposal to grant the former Leighton chief 1 million options, exerciseable at $4.21.

The vote only got across the line thanks to the support of Ron Sayers and his 12.3 per cent stake in the mining contract company.


Nationals senator John Williams was happy to correct one piece of information reported in CBD yesterday without using the cover of parliamentary privilege.

In recent weeks, Williams has helped air some potentially defamatory allegations and counter-allegations stemming from a feud between the failed concert promoter Kevin Jacobsen and dealer of defaulting mortgages Ian Lazar.

The senator corrected one accusation made about him last week in a statement he tabled in Parliament from Lazar. The businessman claimed that much of the original information provided to Williams - which included allegations about Lazar ripping people off - came from the founder of the Gold Coast finance group Mark McIvor.

This is the same McIvor who is a long-time friend of Lazar's arch-nemesis - the bankruptcy advisor Jim Byrnes. However, the senator told CBD yesterday: "I don't know who McIvor is but I'd be keen to speak to him."


It may seem pointless to some that the soon-to-be-taken over Foster's is bothering holding an annual meeting in Sydney next week.

After all, the five directors seeking re-election will probably not be staying on board for too much longer with SABMiller's raised $5.10 takeover bid already getting the tick of approval from the company's board last month.

However, it appears the meeting will hold some purpose for Foster's chief executive, John Pollaers.

There will be two resolutions seeking the granting of two tranches of 480,044 performance rights for Pollaers, with each having a three-year performance period starting in 2011 and 2012.

The company notes that "in the event of a change of control all of the performance rights granted to the CEO in Tranche 1 will vest". That translates into $2.54 million, going by Foster's closing share price yesterday.

If shareholders vote against the granting of the options, in the notice of meeting Foster's said Pollaers will get a cash benefit "that will place him, as far as possible, in the same after-tax financial position as he would have been had he in the LTIP [long-term incentive plan] offer".

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