Big chunk of ex-CEO's shares in SMRT forfeited

Former SMRT chief executive Saw Phaik Hwa. A sizeable chunk of Ms Saw's share entitlement has been forfeited, the listed rail operator disclosed in its latest annual report. -- NP FILE PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR
Former SMRT chief executive Saw Phaik Hwa. A sizeable chunk of Ms Saw's share entitlement has been forfeited, the listed rail operator disclosed in its latest annual report. -- NP FILE PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR

ST 20130719 SAW19 3752847  

A SIZEABLE chunk of former SMRT chief executive Saw Phaik Hwa's share entitlement has been forfeited, the listed rail operator disclosed in its latest annual report.

Of the 100,000 performance share plan (PSP) shares SMRT granted to Ms Saw for financial year 2010, all were forfeited because the company's key performance indicators were not met. And of the 107,800 restricted share plan (RSP) shares granted to her, only 69,400 were actually awarded. The remaining 38,400 shares were not vested in time.

Ms Saw quit in January 2012. And because she resigned, all the 100,000 PSP and 100,000 RSP shares granted for FY2011 were forfeited. The 338,400 shares she did not receive would have been worth $490,680 at yesterday's closing price of $1.45.

SMRT did not disclose what happened to the allotment for FY2012, which would have been granted in August 2011 under normal circumstances.

PSP shares are awarded based on targets set at the start of a three-year period, while the award of RSP shares hinges on performance over a two-year period. The latter has since been revised to one year. Vesting period for such shares is three years.

Since her resignation, which followed two major rail breakdowns in December 2011 that triggered a public inquiry, no other shares were granted to her.

SMRT spokesman Kalai Natarajan said the forfeiture of Ms Saw's shares was "in line with remuneration policy".

Ms Saw would not comment on the share forfeitures when contacted yesterday. She took the helm of SMRT in December 2002. Under her watch, its profits went from $57 million to more than $160 million, and its share price rose from under 70 cents to over $2.30.

Ms Saw's last remuneration package before she left was about $1.85 million.

SMRT's new CEO Desmond Kuek earned $611,000 for the six-month period ended March 2013, according to the annual report. He took the helm from interim chief executive Tan Ek Kia on Oct 1 last year.

christan@sph.com.sg