Skellerup shareholders approve directors fee hike

Skellerup shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of increasing the non-executive director remuneration pool to $475,000 per annum.

Skellerup shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of increasing the non-executive director remuneration to $475,000 per annum.

With over 95% of votes, shareholders at the annual meeting yesterday approved the near 50% increase, from $320,000 to $475,000 a year.

The company, which makes Red Band gumboots, dairy pumps, and mining and plumbing products, said the increase reflected the fact that the remuneration had not been reviewed since September 2006, and was based on advice received from outside consultants, reflecting the remuneration paid to non-executive directors in other similar sized NZ-listed companies.

The company said it also reflected an allowance for an additional non-executive director to be appointed to the board and for "possible CPI-based increases in the future."

Skellerup chairman and NBR Rich Lister Sir Selwyn Cushing said it was not the directors' intention to "get more any more than we're getting" but that there had to be space for another executive director.

New Zealand Shareholders' Association chairman John Hawkins noted there were no details of the methodology of the outside consultants and that it was not strictly necessary to allow for an extra director in advance. 

However he said the NZSA would accept the increase based on the turn around over the last few years, the revitalised board and the efforts of an "extremely good" chief executive.

Mr Hawkins said the NZSA would like to see companies making more frequent but smaller adjustments to directors' fees and basing it on performance over the previous year or two. 

Shareholders also voted to elect Dr Ian Parton to the board, with more than 99% of total votes in favour.

More than 88% of total votes approved the chief executive long term incentive scheme, which would see about 1.95 million partly paid redeemable ordinary shares issued to a trustee on behalf of David Mair.

Mr Mair will partly pay to the trustee one cent for each share of the issue price, to be set by the 60-day weighted average share price.

Simmons' report assessed the fair market value of the redeemable ordinary shares to be in the range of $347,000 to $388,000 or $50,000 to $55,000 per annum over the maximum seven year period of the scheme.

Also announced at the meeting was the retirement of non-executive director John Thompson, for personal reasons, but whose son remained with, Gulf Rubber, the company he founded and which was bought by Skellerup in 2006.