NZSA to oppose Sky TV's 27% directors' fee hike
By Suze Metherell
Oct. 16 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Shareholders' Association will oppose Sky Network Television's bid to lift directors' fees 27 percent, with the retail investor lobby saying details around the hike are "woefully inadequate" and "potentially misleading".
Shareholders will vote on whether to lift the pool to $900,000 from the current $750,000 at the Auckland-based company's annual meeting on Oct. 21. Sky TV will have five independent directors after the meeting when Humphrey Rolleston and Robert Bryden retire, and says the pay increase is to attract and retain quality members.
NZSA said it will vote any undirected proxies it holds against the proposed resolution to raise the fees, saying the company hasn't given investors enough information on the proposal.
"Sky TV says its fee pool is below that of many large companies, but this is meaningless without taking into account the number of directors," chairman John Hawkins said in a statement. "It may also give the impression that directors have not had an increase in their individual fees since 2010 which is not the case at all."
The company reinvigorated its board in 2013, appointing Snakk Media founder Derek Handley and former SAP executive Geraldine McBride to beef up the board’s experience in mobile and software. It has also added Susan Patterson, who chairs Airways NZ and IT consultancy Theta Systems, to the board.
Sky TV paid $619,000 in directors fees to its seven non-executive members in the year ended June 30, up from $606,000 to the same-sized board a year earlier, according to its financial statements.
In 2010, the pay-TV company lifted its pool for directors' fees to $750,000 from $500,000, which was set in 2005.
Sky TV shares rose 0.4 percent to $5.12 and have fallen some 16 percent since the start of the year.