EZCorp’s Doozy $25K/Mo Housing Perk For Chairman

August 28, 2014

Two weeks ago, we wrote about EZCorp Inc. and its generous payouts to its executives — something we’ve coveredextensively in the past — so much so that it has become something of a Frequent Flyer here at footnoted. The pixels on that post had barely set when tthe operator of pawnshops filed another doozy of a filing.

The company, which announced the appointment of Stuart Grimshaw, the CEO of Australian financial firm Queensland Ltd., as its executive chairman on Aug. 13 waited until the following day to include the basket full of goodies it was offering Grimshaw to take the helm.

For starters, Grimbshaw will get an annual salary of $1 million; a sign-on bonus of $1 million; a potential incentive bonus of more than $1 million; and millions more in other bonuses and stock awards liberally sprinkled throughout his employment term.

But tucked away toward the bottom of the filing was this humdinger of a disclosure that raised our eyebrows — that his “other benefits” will “include a temporary housing allowance of up to $25,000 per month” through Sept. 30, 2015, or a total of $325,000 for 13 months, assuming Grimshaw begins renting from Sept. 1.

In places like New York City or Silicon Valley, $25,000 a month for housing is certainly a sweet perk. But it’s not out of the question, given how expensive luxury rentals run in those two places. But in Austin? That’s a whole different story. We searched a site called AustinLuxuryRealty.com for a rental that cost even close to $25K a month in the Austin area and came up empty-handed. The most expensive one we found was this 5,400 square-foot house with four bedrooms and 5 baths that runs just under $10,000 a month.

We have previously written about a number of large payouts as housing allowances by scores of companies but the closest payment to EZCorp’s in recent memory is this payout by insurance broker Aon Plc to its President and CEO Gregory Case. Case received a whopping $336,000 in housing allowance for 2013, but that payment was by a $25 billion market cap firm in connection with its headquarters’ move to the U.K.

We wonder how EZCorp, a $577 million market cap company, will justify the fat compensation packages for its various executives, especially when the company is facing a tumultuous time.

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Filings have been pretty slow this week as everyone tries to get the last week of summer in. But there’s still been some significant disclosures this week. We wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some really juicy ones that come in tomorrow afternoon, once the markets close. footnotedPro subscribers have access to this information first.

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