Reuters: BlackBerry's Heins, Fairfax's Watsa and the $55 million handshake

Reuters: BlackBerry’s Heins, Fairfax’s Watsa and the $55 million handshake

September 26 2013

By Alastair Sharp

Excerpt:

Still, Watsa’s role in deciding Heins’ compensation is drawing scrutiny from some pay experts after BlackBerry on Monday accepted a conditional buyout bid from a consortium led by Fairfax, a property and casualty insurer that owns almost 10 percent of the smartphone maker.

“(Watsa) was part of the committee that was negotiating this agreement. Did he anticipate that he would make some sort of offer to buy the company? I feel like that’s unlikely, but it’s impossible to know,” said Joe Sorrentino, managing director at executive pay advisors Steven Hall & Partners in New York.

Sorrentino added, “The only concern I would have is since they structured his compensation equity award so that it all is granted at the beginning … it is all getting captured in a change of control golden parachute, as opposed to if they did a more typical process” of granting equity awards annually.

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