Jeremy Philips received $7m+ in his last year with Photon, annual report reveals

enero logoJeremy Philips’ rescue of Photon Group saw him receive more than $7m in in the last financial year, its annual report reveals.

The annual report for the company – which renamed itself Enero Group – was quietly published last week. Enero’s main remaining agencies are BMF, Naked Communications, Hotwire, Frank PR and The Leading Edge.

During the financial year which ran from July 2011 until the end of June this year, the annual report indicated that Philips received a total of $5.6m in cash and other compensation. This included salary and fees of $2.08m, a cash bonus of $190,000, non-cash benefits of $5, super and pension contributions of $50,000 and termination benefits of $3.276m. In addition, he received equity-based remuneration of $1.51m.

Philips left half way through the financial year, handing over to BMF co-founder Matthew Melhuish in December 2011. Philips led a major restructure of the company which he took the helm of as it teetered on the brink of collapse after an acquisition spree left it with a debt mountain.

According to the report, Melhuish was remunerated with $900,977 plus equity-based remuneration of $95,700.

Claire Battelino, who departed as chief financial officer around four months ago, received $933,000 around half of which was in termination benefits. She also received $140,000 in equity-based remuneration.

Nigel Long, the head of the international agencies division, received around $310,000.

Naked Communications co-founder Jon Wilkins, who remains with the organisation but is no longer on the board, received $392,000.

Craig Hart, head of the field marketing division, received $534,000.

The last financial year saw the company declare a loss after tax, including its closed and divested businesses, of $142m. It declared a profit figure of earnings before tax, interest, amortisation and depreciation of $14m, half of the previous year.

The total compensation for the company’s key personnel including its directors was $11.2m in the last financial year – up from $9.8m the year before.

The annual report does not give many cluses on the true cost for BWM’s founders to buy back their agency, which was announced in August. While the report says that the trio of Rob Belgiovane, Paul Williams and Jamie Mackay paid $7.5m to reacquire Enero’s 51% of the agency, it did not reveal how much they were owed in deferred considerations as part of the original sale deal. Industry speculation has suggested that the two figures almost netted off. The annual report simply states: “Concurrent to the sale process, the remaining deferred consideration liabilities to the vendors of BWM were also settled.”

The report does put a figure on a major client loss – which although not specified appears to be the departure of BMF’s CommBank account to M&C Saatchi. The report says that this led to a writedown of $34m for the business.


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