Pushpay board seeks increased director pay, wants US-based directors

Pushpay's board said it wants to increase remuneration for non-executive directors to $US450,000 ($NZ643,000) from the current rate of $NZ300,000 per year.

Pushpay Holdings [NZX: PAY], whose mobile payment app allows churches to raise money from parishioners, wants shareholder approval to more than double remuneration for non-executive board members and potentially appoint two US-based directors as it focuses on growth there.

In its notice of annual meeting published to the NZX, Pushpay's board said it wants to increase remuneration for non-executive directors to $US450,000 ($NZ643,000) from the current rate of $NZ300,000 per year. The company is seeking approval in US dollars because that is now Pushpay's functional currency, it said.

"The board believes  the increase in the aggregate amount available to pay non-executive directors will enhance the board's ability to retain and attract directors of the highest calibre, including in the US market, to best represent shareholders' interests and help achieve Pushpay's objective to establish itself as the global mobile platform of choice for merchants and consumers in non-POS mobile commerce," it said.

The increase would bring non-executive director remuneration closer to current market rates, particularly in overseas markets like the US, the board said, though it added even the increased remuneration "continues to be below market practice of listed entities with similar business structures."

The board also said Pushpay may need to appoint two US-based directors to broaden its skill set.

Shareholders will vote on the resolutions put forward at Pushpay's annual meeting held in Auckland on July 14.

Pushpay provides mobile commerce tools that help make payments between consumers and merchants easier and is geared to mobile charitable giving. The app has gained traction in the US faith sector, where its services are used by more than 1% of the estimated 314,000 churches with an average 500 attendees each. The company has turned its focus to larger merchants, who have the resources to implement the service more widely, and now counts four of the largest 10 churches in the US as customers.

Last month, the company posted a wider annual loss of $19.4 million as it chased sales growth ahead of profit and reiterated its forecast to break even in 2017.

In the past year, the company's employee expenses rose to $19.8 million from $3.9 million, excluding discontinued operations. Its employee numbers jumped to 215 from 68, with about half of the new hires in sales and marketing roles.

Pushpay also said it had held talks with the ASX and intended to seek an ASX listing within the next six months.The company listed on the New Zealand Alternative Index in August 2014, with shares priced at $1, and moved to the main board in June 2015.

The shares last traded at $2.15 and have gained 23% this year.


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