Performance bonus bumps Santam CEO's 2021 earnings by R7m in one year

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Outgoing Santam CEO Lizé Lambrechts earned R17.5 million in total pay in 2021. Some R8.1 million was a performance bonus.
Outgoing Santam CEO Lizé Lambrechts earned R17.5 million in total pay in 2021. Some R8.1 million was a performance bonus.
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  • Outgoing Santam CEO Lizé Lambrechts earned R17.5 million in total pay in 2021, R6.68 million more than in 2020.
  • More than half of her pay was a performance bonus, as Santam more than doubled its earnings and saved money on its business interruption liability.
  • In 2019, Lambrechts earned R19.17 million, and R18.5 million in 2018.

In her last full year as Santam CEO, Lizé Lambrechts bagged R17.5 million in total pay, bonus and incentives. This was R6.68 million more than in 2020, the year in which Santam suspended dividends and was in and out of courts seeking clarity on whether it should pay lockdown-related business interruption claims.

That said, Lambrechts' total remuneration in 2021 was lower than in the two years preceding the pandemic. In 2019, she earned R19.17 million, slightly more than the R18.5 million she got in 2018.

Of the R17.5 million total pay the outgoing CEO earned in 2021, R8.1 million was a performance bonus after Santam grew its headline earnings per share by 175% compared to 2020 - from R9.05 to R24.95. The insurer also recovered its net underwriting margin to 8% from 2.5% in 2020, indicating that Santam was paying less from its collected premiums as claims last year.

Lambrechts and Santam CFO Hennie Nel did not get performance bonuses in 2020.

Lambrechts' guaranteed salary package from the company was R6.17 million. The rest of her pay was in the form of long-term incentives.

Although Lambrechts and her executive team got some flak for approaching the courts about the lockdown claims, she's consistently maintained that it was the right thing to do; otherwise, Santam might not have received the reinsurers' support. She told Fin24 in her exit interview that she believed this was the correct move to ensure Santam's solvency.

That court challenge saved Santam R450 million of the business interruption provision it had set aside in 2020, possibly leaving the insurer with more money to reward the executive who fought to the point that court rulings forced reinsurers to pay their portion too.

Lambrechts has finally handed over the reins to Zimbabwean actuary Tavaziva Madzinga, who became the CEO of Santam on Friday. She will, however, stay on at the group until the end of June to help with the transition.

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