03/12/2008 - 22:00

Resources, property, finance execs lead in bonus stakes

03/12/2008 - 22:00

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THE boom conditions in the resources, property and stockbroking sectors last financial year enabled nearly 20 Perth executives to earn cash bonuses of more than $500,000.

THE boom conditions in the resources, property and stockbroking sectors last financial year enabled nearly 20 Perth executives to earn cash bonuses of more than $500,000.

Nine of the top 20 bonuses reached well over $1 million.

In most cases, the payouts were close to, or over, the base salary paid to the relevant executives.

Topping the list were executives from Perth's two biggest companies, oil and gas producer Woodside and diversified industrial company Wesfarmers.

Woodside managing director Don Voelte earned the biggest cash bonus for the year of $1.59 million, up from the previous year's $1.4 million bonus.

He was followed by Wesfarmers' finance director Gene Tilbrook, whose $1.38 million bonus was a big jump from the previous year's comparatively low $555,000.

Wesfarmers managing director Richard Goyder was not eligible to earn a short-term bonus last year, under a remuneration scheme that focused on long-term prospects.

But that changed earlier this year when Wesfarmers adopted a new remuneration scheme for its top executive. Under the revised arrangements, Mr Goyder will be able to earn up to 100 per cent of his fixed salary as an annual incentive if performance targets are reached, and up to 120 per cent if targets are exceeded.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore's Perth-based chief executive Sam Walsh had a good year. His cash bonus leapt from $743,000 in the previous year to $1.33 million.

Stockbroker Euroz also richly rewarded its senior executives after what was another profitable year. Executive chairman Peter Diamond, directors Jay Hughes and Andrew McKenzie, and corporate finance pair Karl Paganin and Doug Young were each paid a $1.3 million bonus, up $320,000 on the previous year.

This was almost five times their $250,000 base salary - the biggest bonus relative to basic earnings on the list.

Euroz executives Greg Chessell and Oliver Foster also earned large bonuses.

Panoramic Resources managing director Peter Harold earned $1.25 million in short-term incentive payments last year, though his were different to most others.

The payments, approved in May last year, were in three parts.

A one-off $500,000 bonus was "to recognise Mr Harold's contribution to the increase in shareholder value following the company's 75 per cent investment in the Lanfranchi project", Panoramic's annual report said.

The board also approved two retention incentives of $250,000 and $500,000, to be paid in 2008 and 2009 "to retain the services of Mr Harold in a highly competitive market where the skills and experience of Mr Harold are being recognised in the mining community".

Aspen Group's managing director Angelo del Borrello and executive director Gavin Hawkins also feature on the list, with a bonus of $850,000 each, equal to the previous year.

Further down, at $860,016, Clough chief executive John Smith's bonus equalled almost three quarters of his salary. This was in addition to $484,451 in special payouts.

Macmahon chief executive Nick Bowen's bonus increased only slightly to $803,801 on the previous year's $797,000.

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