Protecting Ford’s royalty doesn’t come cheap…

There are several good articles today (such as this one and that one) about the executive compensation changes and the NEOs— personal plane usage at Ford Motor Co. (F), so there’s no need to rehash either of those subjects.

Instead, the topic that caught our attention in the preliminary proxy that Ford filed this morning was the disclosure that the company spent $1,191,457 in 2009 to provide security to Executive Chairman/Chairman of the Board of Directors William Clay Ford, Jr. (the great-grandson of Henry Ford).

What’s noteworthy here is that the last time the company reported how much it spent on security for Ford was the April, 2007 proxy; however, back in 2006, the company spent “only” $85,708 to keep Ford safe.

The amount spent on security for Ford wasn—t available in either the 2008 or 2009 proxies. In both years, the company’s filings stated: ——Mr. Ford is not identified as a Named Executive in the Summary Compensation Table— because he did not meet the definition of a Named Executive under SEC rules.

There also isn—t any clue about why the security costs soared so dramatically in just three years. In fact, other than the expenditure and the statement that Ford is required to fly on private aircraft for both business and personal travel for security reasons, the only clues in the proxy led us to expect very modest expenditures. For example, there’s this passage about Ford’s 17-year-old consulting agreement:

—Under this agreement, Mr. Ford is available for consultation, representation, and other duties. For these services, Ford pays him $100,000 per year and provides facilities (including office space), an administrative assistant, and security arrangements. This agreement will continue until either party ends it with 30 days— notice.

And then there’s this section:

“Perquisites and Other Benefits: —For certain executive officers, including the Named Executives, we provide a home security evaluation and security system—. The safety and security (personal and financial) of our executives is critically important. We believe the benefits of providing these programs outweigh the relatively minor costs associated with them.”

The company explains that the only reason Ford is listed as a Named Executive Officer in the 2010 proxy (which is why his compensation appears on the Summary Compensation Table) is that he received performance units and stock options that have grant date values. —Consequently, Mr. Ford is included as a Named Executive pursuant to the SEC proxy rules even though he did not, and will not, receive salary, bonus, or equity awards until such time as the Committee determines the Company’s global Automotive sector has achieved full-year profitability, excluding special items.

We—ll never know what kind of security services Ford received for nearly $1.2 million. But hopefully for that kind of money, the guy at least got a moat.

Image source: PhillipC via Flickr