Top Genting exec rewarded with shares worth $29m

Genting Singapore has rewarded president and chief operating officer Tan Hee Teck (photo) with performance shares worth an eye-popping $29 million at current prices to keep him from being poached.

Genting operates Resorts World Sentosa (RWS). Mr Tan was also rewarded for his role in Genting's expansion abroad, management explained at its annual general meeting yesterday when a shareholder asked why he had been awarded 27.75 million performance shares for the financial year ended Dec 31.

The vesting of these shares is subject to pre-agreed service and performance conditions. Not all the shares may be awarded if targets are not met.

"Performance shares reward is quite common among private companies. Whether it is justified in Genting's case is for the shareholders to decide," remisier Alvin Yong said.

The award, announced in Genting's annual report, was far higher than the 750,000 shares awarded to executive chairman Lim Kok Thay, also head of the parent group Genting Berhad.

Mr Tan's remuneration, which excludes performance shares, was, however, lower at around $4 million, less than half of Mr Lim's at around $9 million for last year.

Mr Tan has also been RWS's chief executive since 2007, after leading Genting in its successful bid to be one of Singapore's two integrated resort operators.

The Straits Times understands that the performance shares reward was for the "retention" of Mr Tan, a crucial figure in Genting Singapore's overseas ventures, including the ongoing Resorts World Jeju project in South Korea. Set to be completed in 2017, the US$1.8 billion (S$2.4 billion) project is a joint venture between Genting Singapore and Landing Jeju Development to create an integrated resort on Jeju modelled on RWS.

Genting Singapore is on track to soft-launch the Genting Hotel Jurong next month in a bid to boost the visitor volumes at RWS.

Genting Singapore shares closed two cents higher at $1.045 yesterday.

whwong@sph.com.sg