Westpac NZ boss's pay up 11pc

JAMES WEIR
Last updated 11:40 14/11/2012
peter clare
DON SCOTT/Fairfax NZ
MONEY MAN: Westpac NZ chief executive Peter Clare.

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Westpac New Zealand chief executive Peter Clare's total pay package is up almost 11 per cent in the past year to A$2.97 million (NZ$3.8m).

In the previous financial year, Clare made a total of A$2.68 million including all cash, benefits, performance awards and share based payments.

Clare is being paid significantly less than his predecessor in New Zealand George Frazis who had a pay package of NZ$5.4m in 2011, making him almost certainly the top paid executive in the country.

As reported earlier this month, Westpac's NZ profits surged 22 per cent to $707 million after-tax in the year till September 30, largely driven by a chunky $50m reduction in bad debts and strong balance sheet growth. Australian-owned Westpac was the last major bank to report its full-year results, bringing the collective profits of the "big four" to a staggering $3.4 billion.

The bank's annual report out today also shows Westpac's Australian parent company chief executive Gail Kelly earned a massive A$9.6m pay package in the past financial year, including cash, share, bonuses and other benefits.

Earlier a senior executive with Westpac in Australia, Peter Clare took over at Westpac NZ in April this year, so his pay reflects half a year in Australia and half in New Zealand.

Clare replaced former high-profile boss Frazis, who returned to Australia to lead Westpac offshoot, St George Bank.

This year, Clare's fixed remuneration dipped slightly in the September year to A$973,964, from A$988,822 in the previous year.

His cash performance bonus was A$810,000 in the latest year, down from A$990,000 previously. The bonus relates to performance awards earned but not paid out in the actual year.

But Clare saw a big jump in non-cash benefits, worth A$158,423 for the year. That includes things like annual health checks, tax services, relocation costs, and living away from home expenses and allowances.

The balance was earned in shares, superannuation benefits and long service leave entitlements.

Contact James Weir
Business editor
Email: james.weir@dompost.co.nz

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