Coming clean…

June 27, 2005

Indianapolis-based Marsh Supermarkets (MARSA) put out a pretty interesting proxy last week. Among the disclosures was that Chairman and CEO Don Marsh, who made nearly $1.3 million in salary and bonus last year, got the company to pick up nearly $70K for financial planning and “other professional fees” (whatever that means). Then there was the hefty raise for Don’s son, David, president and chief operating officer, whose contract ends in August. Under the old contract, he was paid $300K a year. But after August, that goes up to $440K.

But the most interesting disclosures have to do with all the Marsh relatives. In April, the company paid over $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by Don’s brother, Alan, who was suing over split-dollar life insurance policies. And then there’s all the Marsh family members — 7 in all — who have worked for the company at least three years and for the most part, appear in the proxy for the first time. For example, David’s wife, Jodi, made $163K last year as v.p for community relations. Also collecting a paycheck from the company are Don’s nephew, William Jr. (and son of director and employee William Marsh) and his wife, Rachele, Don’s two other sons, Arthur and Don Jr. and Don’s son-in-law, Joseph Heerens.

Unfortunately, hiring family members isn’t just limited to the Marsh clan. Jack Bayt, who is president and chief operating officer of Crystal Food Services, has three of his family members on the Marsh payroll too.

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