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IDP CEO highest paid in Aus in 2019

IDP Education’s Andrew Barkla was Australia’s highest-earning CEO in 2019 as his realised pay passed AUD$37 million (£20.3m), Australian Council of Superannuation Investors research has revealed.

Photo: The PIE News

Barkla earned $7 million more than the second highest paid CEO

In the six years ACSI has recorded realised remuneration for all Australian Securities Exchange 200 CEOs, Barkla’s pay of $37.76m in FY19 surpassed the previous record held by Domino’s Pizza Enterprises’s Don Meij ($36.84m in FY17).

“In FY19 Barkla sold 99% of the shares he received on vesting and exercise of incentives”

In FY19, Barkla earned $7m more than the second highest paid CEO – biotechnology company CSL’s Paul Perreault who earned $30.5m.

The IDP CEO’s reported pay is $2,252,275, but the report noted that in FY19 Barkla sold 99% of the shares he received on vesting and exercise of incentives, which was shown in IDP’s 2019 Annual Report.

ACSI noted that the research provided a snapshot of executive pay in the year prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, and boards are increasing restraint over wages for executives.

“Maturity and sophistication” around senior executive pay will be “put to the test this year as boards wrestle with the deep and persistent impacts of COVID-19 across the Australian community, and globally”, ACSI CEO Louise Davidson said.

“Boards of ASX200 companies will need to seriously consider how remuneration outcomes will be perceived externally, given the widespread impact of the pandemic on investors, staff, customers, governments and other key stakeholders,” she added.

“These results are a reminder that equity incentives have the potential to significantly boost the quantum of remuneration. In volatile market conditions, Boards need to carefully consider the potential value of equity, and appropriate hurdles, before grants are made.”

ABC News reported that a spokesperson for IDP said Barkla’s current remuneration was “consistent with market benchmarking”.

“IDP Education’s market capitalisation rose from $660 million at IPO to $4.4 billion at 30 June 2019, in turn resulting in significant value creation for shareholders of the company,” they said.

In 2019, Barkla told The PIE News that IDP was “turning its eye to Africa”, as it was looking to develop a ‘digital campus’ tasked with supporting the company’s digital strategy.

During the pandemic, he has also called on the Australian government and universities to “show students the sector is here to help”.

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