The executive compensation package of Sheldon Adelson (pictured), chairman and chief executive of casino group Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS), more than doubled in 2017 compared to 2016.
Such compensation was nearly US$26.1 million in 2017, compared to just over US$12.7 million a year earlier. Much of the rise for the 12 months to December 31 was accounted for by US$12.5-million in short-term performance-based cash incentives.
Las Vegas Sands is the parent of Macau casino operator Sands China Ltd. The group also developed and operates Marina Bay Sands, one of Singapore’s two casino resorts.
The company said Mr Adelson’s short-term incentive payments in 2017 – and those for Robert Goldstein, the group’s president and chief operating officer and Patrick Dumont, executive vice president, chief financial officer and also a son-in-law of Mr Adelson – reflected the fact the company had achieved 102.8 percent that year of a performance target of US$4.42 billion in consolidated adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).
The 2017 compensation arrangements allowed for Mr Adelson to receive a maximum of 250 percent of his base salary – the latter amounting to US$5 million – if the group achieved “100 percent or greater of the predetermined EBITDA-based performance target”.
Group profit at Las Vegas Sands rose 138 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter and 68 percent of the full year, according to a January filing.
In March, Mr Adelson again topped Forbes’ list of wealthy gaming investors, with his estimated net worth – of US$38.5 billion – up 26.6 percent on the 2017 list. Mr Adelson, his wife and family trusts and other entities together own approximately 54.8 percent of the group’s outstanding common stock, according to Wednesday’s filing.
Mr Adelson’s 2017 compensation included nearly US$4 million for security for him and his family, an amount up 15.9 percent on the approximately US$3.4 million spent in 2016.
Wednesday’s filing – which gave Mr Adelson’s age as 84 – stated that his current employment agreement with the group – which became effective on January 1, 2017, with an initial term that expires on December 31, 2021, by which time he will be 88 – is then subject to automatic extensions for successive one-year periods “unless Mr Adelson gives notice of his intention not to renew the agreement”.
The compensation of the group’s second-highest executive earner, Mr Goldstein, actually fell slightly year-on-year in 2017, to just over US$8.1 million, from US$8.2 million. The main difference was a reduction in 2017 for reimbursement of taxes relating to Mr Goldstein’s personal use of aircraft and country club dues. Such reimbursement in 2017 was US$135,395, compared to US$280,781 a year earlier.
Mr Dumont’s 2017 compensation tally for 2017 was US$2.5 million; markedly lower than the more than US$8.9 million registered in 2016, although the latter figure had included more than US$6.5 million in stock option awards.
Wednesday’s proxy filing said the Las Vegas Sands board had recommended to stockholders that – at the June 7 annual meeting of the firm – they vote in favour of amending company rules. Instead of having three classes of director, with tenure expiring on different dates, the group would switch to annual voting for each director to serve a one-year term.
The firm said such a move would “further our goal of ensuring our corporate governance policies maximise board accountability to stockholders and would allow stockholders the opportunity each year to register their views on the composition of our board of directors”.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China