It's hard to imagine a top-five executive with a public company in Canada with a sweeter deal than David Rosenberg, as evidenced by his employer Gluskin + Sheff Associates Inc.'s newly filed management information circular.
Mr. Rosenberg, the all-star chief economist and strategist with the money management firm earned an impressive $3.1-million in the company's most recent fiscal year, ended June 30, making the former chief North American economist at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch the company's second-highest paid executive behind CEO Jeremy Freedman.
What is unusual about his compensation is how little of it is tied to the success of his employer, either in its financial performance or stock price. Actually, none of it is. As long as Gluskin has enough money to keep on the lights, stay in business and pay employees, Mr. Rosenberg is guaranteed a payment of $2-million a year. That's split into two parts: his $200,000 salary, and a $1.8-million amount identified in the proxy circular as "guaranteed annual compensation." The guaranteed payment agreement has been in place for the last two fiscal years and continues through the end of this fiscal year next June. It is paid in cash, not share units.
The third element of his compensation is variable, but it has nothing to do with the performance of his firm or the accuracy of his forecasting, but rather the popularity of his research, which reaches far beyond Canada: Mr. Rosenberg pocketed $1.08-million in gross pay last year from his share of net revenues generated by the company's sale of economic research he pens. That's up from $877,645 the year before, making Mr. Rosenberg one of the few Canadian authors to earn a $1-million a year for his work.
Not a bad haul when you consider Mr. Rosenberg made a much publicized shift in his thinking earlier this year, shedding part of his bearish stance to adopt a more bullish view on Canada.