It’s that time of year when working for Li Ka-shing really pays off.
Take Canning Fok, his long-time lieutenant, for example.
He got a 4.3 per cent pay rise on top of a HK$196.3 million (US$25.3 million) paycheck in the past financial year.
Fok, managing director of Hutchison Whampoa who is consistently the best paid executive of a Hong Kong-listed company, has been receiving nine-digit paychecks since 1999 when the group made a record profit of HK$117.3 billion after selling Orange to Mannesmann.
Our back-of-the-envelope calculation shows Fok has made at least HK$2.5 billion since he joined Hutchison in 1984.
At an annual salary of HK$196.3 million, Fok made HK$16.3 million per month, or HK$533,600 per day, or HK$22,000 per hour (assuming he works 24 hours a day) and HK$350 a minute.
We can assume his annual pay is better than the profit of half of the listed companies in Hong Kong.
Of course, it’s hard work given that his finger is in 50 countries around the world where the sprawling conglomerate made a profit of HK$67.15 billion on turnover of HK$421 billion last year.
Li’s elder son Victor, got a 5.3 percent boost in his take-home pay of HK$144.7 million which includes his salary in Cheung Kong Hutchison (Holdings) (CKH) (HK$69.66 million), Hutchison Whampoa (HK$55.06 million) and Cheung Kong Infrastructure (HK$20.1 million).
By comparison, Li took home HK$5,000 from Cheung Kong, the flagship he created in 1973.
In the pending merger of CKH and Hutchison, we’re curious whether Hutchison, which will delist and dissolve into CKH group, will need to comply with the award system in the big family group.
Hutchison tends to be more generous to its executive team.
Fok’s three deputies made between HK$45.8 million for executive director Dominic Lai and HK$50.8 million for deputy managing director Susan Chow.
Comparatively speaking, Cheung Kong’s executive directors made between HK$23.5 million (Kam Hing-lam) and HK$31.4 million (Grace Woo).
Unlike in sports where older players get less money, Li’s empire seems eager to bridge the gap between executives of old Cheung Kong and old Hutchison by paying the latter more.
We shall see when group unveils its next annual report.
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