UOB CEO's 2019 pay up 1.8% to $10.8 million; bank to defer AGM

UOB has also deferred the adoption of a revised directors' fee structure.
UOB has also deferred the adoption of a revised directors' fee structure.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - UOB is due to defer its annual general meeting, which was slated originally for April 30, given the restrictions of mass gatherings due to the virus outbreak, The Business Times understands.

At the shareholders' meeting, investors were due to approve a final dividend payout of 55 Singapore cents per share, and a special dividend of 20 Singapore cents per share.

With this, all three local banks have deferred their AGMs.

The bank's latest annual report on Wednesday (April 8) showed that chief executive officer Wee Ee Cheong recorded a 1.8 per cent increase in 2019 total salary to $10.75 million, up from $10.56 million a year ago.

His base salary was unchanged at $1.2 million, with the remaining captured in bonus. As was the case in 2018, 60 per cent of the variable pay due to Mr Wee would be deferred and vested over three years. Of the deferred variable pay, 40 per cent would be issued in deferred cash, while the remaining 60 per cent would be in the form of share-linked units.

The bank has also deferred the adoption of a revised directors' fee structure. Under a review done in 2019, the appointed consultant Aon Hewitt assessed that the UOB directors' fees were "below market" and did not commensurate with their enlarged responsibilities. The recommendation to raise the directors' fees was approved by the board in 2019.

"However, in view of the challenging environment exacerbated by the Covid-19 outbreak and in anticipation of difficult times ahead, our board has decided to defer the adoption of the revised directors' fee structure."

UOB board chairman Wong Kan Seng was paid a total of $907,000.

As a comparison, DBS chairman Peter Seah was paid directors' fees of $1.33 million, as well as a share-based remuneration of $571,200. Taken together with the value of the service of a car and driver for Mr Seah - amounting to $69,552 - Mr Seah received a total remuneration of $1.97 million for 2019.

 
 
 
 

In the annual report, Mr Wee, who is also deputy chairman of UOB, said that this era is "marked by immense change".

"Uncertainty and volatility shape markets, diverse and divergent economic and political beliefs challenge international relations, while advances in technology propel how businesses are run and lives led. At the moment, many countries are grappling with the impact of Covid-19 which is affecting global growth over the near term," he wrote in his report.

"Storms will pass. We will stay the course."