Xero executive Sankar Narayan sells $A883k of shares to meet tax liability

 Xero chief financial and operating officer Sankar Narayan sold A$883,482 of stock to meet a personal tax bill accruing from the share component of his pay packet.

The Xero executive sold 30,000 shares on market at an average price of A$29.45 per share on Jan. 9, a notice to the stock exchange said. That left Narayan with 42,874 shares, plus another 46,902 restricted stock units (RSUs) and 291,000 options to subscribe to shares under the company's Australian plan.

"The sale is to meet personal tax liabilities in relation to Xero shares granted to Mr Narayan as part of his remuneration package," Wellington-based Xero said in a statement.

Narayan joined Xero in October 2015 as chief financial officer, citing at the time his experience in merger and acquisition activity, initial public offering preparation, and public and private capital raisings in global markets, and making him responsible for the software developer's global financial and administrative functions and strategy. A year later, Narayan's role was expanded to include driving Xero's global operations and revenue.

When Narayan started, he was issued with 105,084 RSUs which vest as part of his pay packet, and 176,000 options to buy shares at an exercise price of NZ$19.51 per share. Some 1,694 RSUs vested in April 2016 and in June of that year he received a further 115,000 options with an exercise price of NZ$17.51, vesting in four tranches annually.

In July 2016 he received 8,479 RSUs at an allocation price of NZ$18.72 apiece and in November of that year 33,000 RSUs vested to ordinary shares. Another 4,850 RSUs vested in March 2017, and in July he received 6,213 RSUs at an allocation price of NZ$25.75 each.

Xero's share-based payments to employees rose 23 percent to $22.9 million in the March 2017 year, while share-based payments to key management shrank 14 percent to $4.6 million. The company's two highest-paid employees were in a band of $2.43 million-to-$2.44 million in the 2017 financial year, up from a band of $1.66 million-to-$1.67 million in 2016. Chief executive Rod Drury's pay was $731,000 in 2017 and $761,000 the year before, although he doesn't participate in the restricted share plan.

The company's shares have jumped 75 percent over the past 12 months, recently trading at $32.44, down 0.1 percent, on the NZX. Xero's stock is set to delist from NZX at the end of the month, giving it a single listing on the ASX which it says will attract broader analyst coverage and a wider investor base with the company seeking greater liquidity in its shares.

(BusinessDesk)