A nice slice of the pie at Solera Holdings …


Auto insurance may seem like a boring business, and doubly so if you’re providing back-end services or software for chores like processing claims. Less dull: The money enterprising executives can make from such apparent drudgery.

Despite the sunny-sounding name, Solera Holdings (SLH) is in the auto-insurance services and software business, and it rewards its executives handsomely, according to the proxy that the company just filed this morning. Together, the top executives (six of them, thanks to a departure and some voluntary disclosure on Solera’s part) pulled in $12.1 million — or an amount equivalent to 64% of the income that the company reported for the most recent fiscal quarter, and half or more of the income it has reported in any quarter for more than two years.

Granted, there are some one-time expenses in there, like the nicely round $250,000 that Solera paid to Chief Operating Officer John Giamatteo for relocation expenses after his hire in April, or the $346,624 that human-resources chief Abilio Gonzalez received “to cover his home selling assistance benefit” (of which $85,967 went to Gonzalez’s tax bill for the perk). Other, smaller perks stood out as well: Chief Executive Tony Aquila’s $11,850 in country-club memberships and $18,000 car allowance, for example. And it’s the first time in a while that we’ve seen a CEO cashing out unused floating holidays ($5,692 for Aquila).

The folks minding the store (that would be the board of directors) aren’t doing so badly either. They pulled in cash and stock ranging from $243,134 to $322,634 — not the most we’ve seen, but still a tidy sum for part-time work even if the Solera board is a little busier than some. (The full board met eight times, the Audit Committee 10 times, and the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee nine times. The Compensation Committee was busiest of all: 15 meetings.)

All that said, Solera shareholders can’t be too unhappy these days, with the company’s shares up 33% over the last 12 months, beating the S&P 500 handily, and profits, for the most part, on the upswing. Given the percent of the gate that management is taking home, let’s hope it stays that way.

Image source: WxMom via Flickr


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