Betfair CEO Gets £10 Million Bonus

Betfair Chief Executive Breon Corcoran received a pay package worth £11.6m last year after Betfair paid out a £10m golden hello signing bonus he was granted when he joined the company three years ago.

It took three years, but Betfair CEO Breon Corcoran has received a signing bonus of million pounds for joining the online gambling firm, bringing his total pay package for 2014 to 11.6 million pounds.

The bonus was revealed in Betfair’s annual report and was paid after the company met two of three financial performance criteria originally required under the deal signed when Corcoran came to Betfair from Paddy Power in August 2012. A third performance criteria related to Betfair’s return to shareholders compared with rival companies was removed at a shareholder meeting in January.

In a letter to shareholders, Betfair had explained how the third criteria was introduced by an administrative error, and that it did not reflect the original terms agreed with Corcoran. Still, Betfair’s stock performance over the three years probably would have met the criteria.

The £10.1m golden hello award, in shares, comes on top of Corcoran’s salary of £528,000 and an annual bonus of £953,000. His total package was worth £11.6m, up from £1.3m for the previous year.

“It is a large amount, but I couldn’t be more happy to be paying Corcoran what we are paying him,” said Betfair Co-Founder Ed Wray, according to published reports. “As a shareholder, I think it is important to reward that kind of value creation.”

Corcoran’s rate of pay, however, does have some critics. Last year Pirc, which advises investors on corporate governance issues, recommended a vote against Betfair’s remuneration policy, arguing Corcoran’s “potential rewards … under all incentive schemes are considered excessive”.

Betfair’s UK customer base has increased by 250 percent and Betfair’s share value has risen from about £750 million to £2.3 billion while Corcoran has been in charge.