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Current as of 30/03/17 04:40PM NZST
Money Editor for NZ Herald

Stock Takes: Golden handshake for NZX boss Tim Bennett?

Tim Bennett likely received a significant golden handshake on leaving the NZX. Photo / Greg Bowker
Tim Bennett likely received a significant golden handshake on leaving the NZX. Photo / Greg Bowker

Some market participants have been left shaking their heads after seeing that former NZX-boss Tim Bennett is likely to have received a significant golden handshake on leaving the company.

Figures in its 2016 annual report show the highest paid person at the NZX, which we assume is likely to be Bennett, was paid between $2.86 million and $2.869999m last year.

That was a big jump on 2015 when the highest paid person at the exchange received between $1.11m and $1.119999m.

The NZX has declined to disclose a further break-down of the top payee's earnings pointing Stock Takes back to the statement it made on Bennett's resignation and its 2016 annual report.

The resignation announcement reveals Bennett's departure weighed on the company's 2016 financial result.

It had previously indicated its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation would be in the range of $22.5m to $26.5m.

But taking into account expected costs associated with the restructure of its agribusiness and the CEO transition the company said it expected 2016 ebitda to be at "towards the lower end of the previously disclosed range".

And it was. The result released last month was an ebitda of $22.5m.

Bennett may also receive a payout in this financial year as he has a CEO share scheme in place that runs until August.

If over the five year period of the scheme the NZX's total shareholder return exceeds a margin of 1 per cent over the NZX's weighted average cost of capital he will receive a taxable bonus equivalent to the amount of the loan and will receive a transfer of the shares on full repayment of the loan and any accrued interest.

But if he doesn't meet the hurdle rate he will not receive the bonus and will be required to repay the loan from his own resources and will receive a transfer of shares.

The hurdle rate was set at $1.10 in 2012.

- NZ Herald

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