A total pay of $ 7 million for the former president of SNC-Lavalin
Even if he gave up his place at the head of SNC-Lavalin last June, while the engineering and construction firm was facing legal and operational setbacks, Neil Bruce was still entitled to a processing some $ 7 million in 2019.
He was even entitled to more than half a million dollars in reimbursement costs to cover his move from Montreal to the United Kingdom to join his family. On the other side of the Atlantic, he continued to advise the board of directors until December 31, before leaving permanently.
This information appears in the solicitation circular sent to shareholders of the Quebec multinational for its annual meeting on May 7, which will be entirely virtual due to the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The departure of Mr. Bruce had been presented as a retirement. He had been replaced by Ian Edwards, previously chief operating officer.
“Mr. Bruce did not receive severance pay following his retirement, “said SNC-Lavalin in the document, adding that his contract had been modified on June 11 in the wake of the announcement. of his retirement.
In the event of “termination of employment without just cause”, the former president would have been entitled to severance pay of $ 14 million.
Bruce – whose total pay was $ 5.44 million in 2018 – received base salary of approximately C $ 1.3 million after converting the amounts paid into pounds sterling. Its share-based awards totaled $ 4.1 million. He also received a bonus of approximately $ 670,000 and “other compensation” of $ 890,701 – which takes into account his moving expenses.
“You can go live where you want, but was the company forced to pay for the move [to Mr. Bruce]?” asked in particular the governance expert and professor at Concordia University Michel Magnan, during a telephone interview.
“Unless it appears in his contract of employment, it gives an indication that there was an agreement by mutual agreement.”
For comparison, the total salary of Alexandre L’Heureux, president and chief executive officer of WSP Global – Quebec’s rival of SNC-Lavalin – also stood at $ 7 million last year, according to documents filed with regulatory authorities.
“You can go live where you want, but was the company forced to pay for the move [to Mr. Bruce]?” ”
– Michel Magnan, governance expert and professor at Concordia University
Mr. Edwards, who was confirmed in office at the end of October, was entitled to an aggregate salary of $ 3.7 million, which notably takes into account a base salary of nearly $ 950,000, share-based awards of $ 1.9 million and an annual bonus of $ 531,556.
Including Mr. Bruce’s total compensation, the total pay of the five main executives of SNC-Lavalin reached $ 21 million last year.
Under the leadership of Mr. Edwards, SNC-Lavalin decided to stop bidding on fixed price contracts, in which the cost overruns are absorbed by the contractor, in order to turn more to engineering services, where the risks are lower.
After several years of unsuccessfully pleading for an amicable agreement with the federal authorities in order to put aside the criminal charges hanging over it, the company was able, last December, to turn the page on part of its past trouble.
The firm’s construction division then pleaded guilty to fraud for acts committed in Libya between 2001 and 2011. This plea was accompanied by a fine of $ 280 million and the abandonment of a series of charges.