• A Semirara insider discloses acquisitions

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    MARIA Cristina Consunji Gotianun, a member of the 10-person board of Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC), is not among the company’s five highest-paid executives.

    As an executive director, Mrs. Gotianun was included among “all other directors and officers as a group” who, in 2015, received P67.023 million, divided into P12.188 million, salaries; P43.007 million, bonuses; and P11.827 million, other annual compensation.

    In 2016, Semirara increased by 8.866 percent to P72.829 million the compensation of Mrs. Gotianun and her fellow directors and other executives. The company’s compensation filing showed that the total consisted of salaries, P12.842 million; bonuses, P43.234 million; and other annual compensation, P16.753 million.

    This year, Semirara said it would pay “all other directors and officers as a group” the same amount that it paid them in 2016. It said the same thing in 2016 when it placed at P67.022 million the group’s annual compensation. As a later filing showed, the company overshot its own estimate by P5.807 million, or 8.664 percent.

    From 2015 to 2016, Mrs. Gotianun was among the directors and officers who were paid P139.852 million.
    Including Semirara’s estimate of their compensation for 2017, the group would have received P212.681 million, divided as follows: salaries, P37.872 million; bonuses, P129.475 million; and other annual compensation, P45.333 million.

    5 highest-paid executives

    Like other listed companies, Semirara denied the public a peek at the individual compensation of its nine directors and executives. The company also kept secret the individual salaries, bonuses and other annual compensation of its five highest-paid executives.

    Instead of individualizing their compensation, it simplified the disclosure process by stating the totals for Isidro A. Consunji, chairman and chief executive officer; Victor A. Consunji, vice chairman, president and chief operating officer; George G. San Pedro, vice president and resident manager, who died on July 7 2016; Jaime B. Garcia, vice president for procurement and logistics; and Junalina S. Tabor, vice president and chief finance officer.

    In 2015 and 2016, Semirara’s five highest-paid executives were paid P248.269 million. Assuming the company would also pay them P29.786 million as it did in 2016, the amount would total P278.055 million.

    Semirara’s five highest-paid executives received salaries of P17.247 million; bonuses of P70.153 million; and other compensation of P4.996 million for a total of P92.396 million in 2015. In 2016, they got salaries of P17.764 million; bonuses, P72.636 million; and other compensation, P4.758 million, or a total of P95.158 million. This year, Semirara said it would pay them the same amount as in 2016.

    Generosity

    Semirara may not be the most generous listed company in paying members of the board. However, it expressed its appreciation for the services of executive directors by paying them an annual retainer fee of P240,000, which the company’s board approved in May 2009.

    “In May 2015, however,” Semirara said in a compensation filing, “the stockholders approved the increase in retainer fees of non-executive and independent directors to P150,000 or P1.8 million per annum effective June 1, 2015.”

    In addition, Semirara said, the “fixed per diem of P20,000 for every meeting held and attended by each director who serves as chairman or a member of SMPC’s board committees remain unchanged.”

    As of yesterday, the PSE website listed three executive directors, namely, Isidro A. Consunji, chairman of the board; Victor A. Consunji, vice chairman; and Maria Cristina C. Gotianun, executive vice president.

    Semirara’s non-executive directors as listed on the same website are Jorge A. Consunji, Cesar A. Buenaventura, Herbert M. Consunji, Ma. Edwina C. Laperal, and Josefa Consuelo C. Reyes. Completing the 10-person board are two independent directors, namely, Victor C. Macalincag, who died on March 30, 2017, according to a filing, and Rogelio M. Murga.

    Due Diligencer’s take

    In the past, I used to get the average pay of each of the five highest-paid executives, which proved unfair to the group.

    To show a company’s generosity, I decided to stop averaging their pays and perks and focused on the total. As a matter of fact I have not been writing about executive compensation for a long time until today.

    Mrs. Gotianun, meanwhile, bought from the open market 17,500 Semirara shares at P159 each on May 24, and 940 shares at P158 each on May 30. It is up to the public investors if they want to follow her trades. She is the executive vice president of Semirara, and at the same time a member of the board.

    At said prices, Mrs. Gotianun was slightly ahead of the stock’s closing price of P160.40 on Monday, even beating the 30-day low of P148.40.

    On June 5, Semirara hit a high of P162.50. Will Mrs. Gotianun’s acquisitions top Semirara’s 30-day high of P164 or even higher? Just asking.

    esdperez@gmail.com

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