Continuing the Socialist Courier saga of the riches to riches story of the fortunate few .
Executive directors at Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy reaped the rewards of the oil and gas industry and shared in a £25 million cash-and-shares boardroom bonanza .
The company's directors' pay bill more than doubled, with chief executive Sir Bill Gammell netting £5.5 million in pay, benefits and shares.
In 2006, Gammell's basic pay and benefits increased 37% to £986,716, including a bonus equivalent to 100% of his £480,000 salary, plus further benefits worth £26,716. His short-term earnings were dwarfed, however, by a gain of £4,496,549 from the vesting of shares awarded under a long-term incentive plan (LTIP).
Exploration director Mike Watts pocketed £4.3 million. Watts also had reason to celebrate Cairn's share-price success in a year when his basic pay package climbed 31% to £581,844. This included a £350,000 salary and £210,000 bonus. Watts chalked up a gain of £3,724,869 on vesting of LTIP shares.
Group general manager Malcolm Thoms netted an LTIP gain of £3,359,503 to add to a £504,435 pay package.
Jann Brown, who succeeded Kevin Hart as finance director, and Simon Thomson, legal and commercial director, joined Cairn's board last November. They each enjoyed an LTIP share gain of nearly £1.7 million , as did Phil Tracy, engineering director. Brown and Thomson also each pocketed a £200,000 bonus .
Hart, the previous finance director , meanwhile, was paid £660,430 in his final year as a director before stepping down on November 17. He made a further £3,359,503 under LTIP.
This followed a series of bumper discoveries in Rajasthan, India , which saw the share price, which stood at 370p in January 2004, reach £25 last May.