Absa chief may get R19m payout

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MariaRamos Independent Newspapers ABSA Group chief executive Maria Ramos. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi.

Johannesburg - Maria Ramos, the chief executive officer of Barclays-controlled Absa who gave up her cash bonus for 2012, may be entitled to about 19 million rand ($2.1 million) of other payouts by the end of March.

Deferred share incentive awards announced over the past three years may total about 11 million rand when they vest at the end of this month and dividends are accrued, according to Bloomberg calculations using Johannesburg-based Absa’s average February stock price of 166 rand.

Ramos may also be paid 8 million rand of cash and shares in March as part of a 2010 program to retain senior managers.

The performance conditions for the deferred incentives have been met, a spokesman for Absa who asked not to be named in line with company policy said in an e-mailed response to questions on February 19.

The retention awards are subject to approval by the bank’s compensation committee, which is due to meet on March 14, the spokesman said.

Ramos, 53, announced she was forsaking her cash bonus after she described Absa’s 2012 earnings as “disappointing” on February 12.

The bank missed its own targets as home loans soured and full-year profit declined 13 percent to 8.39 billion rand.

Ramos was paid 20.7 million rand for 2011, including deferred awards of 14 million rand.

Standard Bank’s Jacko Maree, chief executive of Africa’s largest bank, received total pay of 27.2 million rand for that period, while FirstRand chief executive Sizwe Nxasana was paid 22.5 million rand for the 12 months through June.

 Cash Bonus 

Ramos, who joined the bank in 2009, last got a cash bonus in 2010, when she was paid 2.28 million rand as part of her 19.6 million-rand compensation.

Ramos won’t be taking any annual performance incentive either in cash or a deferred award in 2013 as a result of the 2012 financial results, the Absa spokesman said.

Her total compensation for 2012, including salary, bonus and long-term incentive, will show a “substantial decline” on 2011, he said.

Investors want to see pay match performance, Adrian Cloete, an Absa shareholder and equity analyst at Cadiz Asset Management, said in a phone interview.

“That’s a core principle,” he said.

Absa fell 0.2 percent to 161.70 rand as of 11:32 a.m. in Johannesburg trading, paring the stock’s gain over the past 12 months to 7.7 percent.

Standard Bank has advanced 8.6 percent over that period, while FirstRand climbed 34 percent, making it the best performer among South Africa’s big four banks. - Bloomberg News



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