Rubbery outlook for Ansell boss

THE Swedish chief executive of Ansell, Magnus Nicolin, seems to think one might have a more lucrative career predicting the direction of the European economy rather than running a latex glove and condom concern.
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At a media conference yesterday regarding Ansell’s €101.5 million ($118 million) acquisition of the French glovemaker Comasec, Nicolin was asked to provide his views on the European economy.

”If I knew exactly where it was heading, I wouldn’t be working here,” he said.

Transurban legacy

THE new chief executive of Transurban Group seems to think it is a tad premature considering what he wants to leave behind when he eventually departs the company.

When asked what kind of legacy he wanted to leave at Transurban, Scott Charlton assured analysts that he would keep a leash on his ego. ”I’m not trying to build an edifice to myself. I am not trying to build a Scott Charlton legacy,” said Charlton, who only started at the company three weeks ago.

The former Leighton and Lend Lease executive, however, did concede he was something of an infrastructure nerd.

”I love the sector, I love the big assets. They are fun to be part of and as an engineer, I love the complexity of the networks and sort of how everything operates together. So the sector interests me and some people might see that as weird,” said the former designer of missile guidance systems.

On the issue of legacies, Transurban also disclosed that its former chief executive Chris Lynch enjoyed a tidy 9 per cent lift in remuneration in his final full-financial year to $7.36 million. In the lead-up to Lynch’s departure, the company stressed he resigned rather than being terminated. This means he will never have the chance to leave a legacy the same size of his predecessor Kim Edwards, who departed the group with a $5 million ”strategic milestone incentive plan bonus”, a $3.2 million ”business generation plan incentive”, a $1 million short-term incentive payment and a $5 million termination payment.

Music to their ears

MELBOURNE composer Noel Fidge has claimed to have ”reinvented” the modern musical by coming up what it is certain to be a new genre: an anti-gambling musical.

A Garden of Money, which will be staged in North Melbourne from August 23 for five days, revolves around a well-off stockbroker and his gambling addict wife.

But the recent track record of finance-related stage entertainment has been rather patchy. In 2010, a British play about the Enron collapse closed after just 15 performances on Broadway.

Labelled a ”flashy but laboured economics lesson” by the New York Times, Enron lost an estimated $4 million in the US.

However, EuroCrash! The Musical continues to power on after opening on the London West End last year. ”It is a parable, and a dreadful warning about what might happen if certain steps … to save the eurozone are not taken,” says the musical’s website.

AMP plummet

AMP chief executive Craig Dunn’s Christmas hamper might be a little lighter this year, thanks to the 40 per cent dip in the company’s share price to $4.05 since late 2009.

The company lodged a change of director’s interest notice disclosing that 777,778 performance rights granted to Dunn in March 2010 had lapsed at the end of July.

CEO bonus cut

ONE wonders whether the heavy engineering concern Bradken’s 49 per cent lift in annual profits will be enough to temper any of the remaining shareholder angst in relation to the remuneration of its senior executives.

Despite posting a better than expected $100 million net profit and 3.8 per cent lift in dividends for the year yesterday, the cash bonus paid to managing director Brian Hodges was cut from the previous year’s controversial $819,000 to $393,000. At last year’s meeting more than 20 per cent of shareholders voted against the remuneration report, where Bradken’s key management personnel were paid the equivalent of 17.5 per cent of Bradken’s operating cash flows. But while Hodges’ bonuses have been trimmed, his fixed pay is still well out of the RBA’s inflation comfort zone. His base pay for the year to June 30 rose a hearty 12 per cent to $1.28 million.

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