Aside from his salary for the 2023 financial year of R7.4 million, former Transaction Capital CEO David Hurwitz was paid a further R1.8 million for the three months between October and December. This was in line with his contract of employment – he officially “stepped down” on December 31.
However, to enforce his restraint of trade Hurwitz was paid a further full year’s salary in December for 2024. The group helpfully notes in its remuneration report that he received “no annual increase” post the September year-end. This means he will receive a further R7.4 million to ensure he remains available to the group “for the 2024 calendar year to ensure a smooth CEO transition and handover to Jonathan Jawno”.
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But over and above the restraint of trade payment, he will also get a “revised” fixed salary with “existing employee benefits in line with his new employment contract” for the year. Based on the remuneration of its other executives and prescribed officers, this is unlikely to be much less than R4 million.
Also, the board’s remuneration committee under chair Kuben Pillay approved the settlement of Hurwitz’s conditional share plan (CSP) awards in December. It is somewhat atypical for long-term share awards to be settled following the departure of a senior executive, unless the parting is on agreeable terms.
According to its financials, these CSPs were valued at R15.1 million at the end of September.
But its share price improved from around R4.20 then, to R7.98 when these were settled in December.
This is a 90% increase, meaning his 540 000 CSPs granted in 2020, 2021 and 2022 were worth approximately R29 million upon settlement.
This means he received a ‘pay out’ of over R36 million for both his CSPs and to enforce his restraint of trade. This is over and above his typical remuneration which totalled R9.2 million for the 15 months ended December 2023, plus the likely R4 million he will be paid this year.
Only one executive director at the group (excluding the new CFO who only joined in June) received an incentive bonus – chief investment officer Mark Herskovits.
The group says this R2.5 million bonus (“short-term incentive”) is equal to eight months of his cost-to-company (CTC) “for his role in the ongoing reshaping of SA Taxi’s balance sheet in response to the revised operational and strategic direction”.
He was also granted “discretionary CSP awards for his role in the ongoing reshaping of SA Taxi’s balance sheet in response to the revised operational and strategic direction”. These were awarded in December, with a value (as of the end of September) of R9.6 million.
Sahil Samjowan, who was appointed as Group CFO in June, was paid a bonus of R1.8 million.ADVERTISEMENTCONTINUE READING BELOW
This award is “equal to five months of CTC for his work at Nutun and the Transaction Capital group”. He was also awarded CSPs valued at R3.6 million. Samjowan was previously CFO of Nutun (the group’s debt collection business).
Sean Doherty, former CFO of the group and newly-appointed CEO of Mobalyz/SA Taxi was also awarded handsomely. His appointment followed “the fall out of the March 2023 SENS announcement”.
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The group says “Sean was granted an STI [short-term incentive] award equal to eight months CTC for leading the operational and strategic re-direction of SA Taxi”. This bonus was R3.33 million. Doherty was also awarded CSPs valued at R7.9 million.
At current prices, these R29 million in CSPs (as at 30 September) are worth over R50 million. These three executives are all directly seized with stabilising and fixing SA Taxi (‘Mobalyz’).
The group does note that “due to the destruction in value of the Transaction Capital and SA Taxi share prices, no short-term incentives were awarded to David Hurwitz, Jonathan Jawno, Robert Rossi and Michael Mendelowitz”.
Former CEO bonus
Terry Kier, the ousted CEO of SA Taxi, was – astonishingly – paid a discretionary bonus of R2.5 million “for his involvement in the conclusion of Gomo’s agreement with Standard Bank”.
This is buried in a footnote to its executive compensation summary. Kier was paid a total of R8.7 million for nine months work, including that bonus.
The group’s share price has recovered, slowly, from the low of R3.94 reached in September last year. It closed on Tuesday at R7.40, up 88%. Even after this, it remains 78% below where it was trading this time last year – just a month before ‘that’ Sens announcement.