Golden links…

April 13, 2005

Clearly, lots of deals have taken place (or at least gotten their start) on the golf course. It’s one of the reasons many companies are seemingly able to justify paying for golf club memberships for their top executives. But how much is too much to spend on the perk? After all, initiation fees often approach a few years of tuition at a tony private school. But USI Holdings (USIH) has decided to spend more — much more — on a membership for three of its top executives. In the preliminary proxy filed yesterday, the company noted that it had spent $600K to purchase a membership at a golf club. Which golf club? The company doesn’t say in the proxy. But given the company’s home base, my money’s on Trump National Golf Club, which happens to be located in USIH’s home town. That wasn’t the only thing that caught my eye in the company’s proxy: Ronald Eslick, the brother of Chairman and CEO David Eslick got a 54% raise last year, significantly higher than other executives. But then again, he wasn’t one of the chosen few to receive a membership to the golf club. Still, perhaps David lets him play a round now and again.

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