The top four executives in Kerry Group were paid a total of €10.5m in salaries, benefits, pensions and performance-related bonuses in 2015, which is up €2m.

Figures from Kerry Group's annual report show that Chief Executive Stan McCarthy was paid a basic salary of €1.16m and a total of €4m (up from the 2014 total of €3.84m) in 2015. He received a performance-related bonus of €674,000) and long-term performance related incentives worth €1.87m).

Gerry Behan, President and CEO of Kerry Taste & Nutrition, was paid a basic salary of €733,000 and total of €2.54m (up from the 2014 total of €2.31m).

Brian Mehigan, Chief Financial Officer, was paid a total of €1.86m (up from €1.62m), while Flor Healy, CEO Kerry Foods, was paid €1.89m (up from €1.53m).

[caption id="attachment_113622" align="aligncenter" width="727"]Source: Kerry Group Source: Kerry Group[/caption]

According to the report, over the last seven years there have been minimal increases to basic salaries for the CEO, CFO and Executive Directors (average of circa 2% per annum since 2008).

In addition, annual bonus opportunities for the CEO, CFO and Executive Directors have remained unchanged.

It says that with this in mind, the Remuneration Committee recommend salary increases with effect from January 1, 2016, including that the CEO’s salary will increase by 9% and the CFO’s salary will increase by 18%.

A 2015 review, performed in conjunction with Willis Towers Watson, determined that there is a shortfall between Kerry Group's CEO and CFO’s remuneration and that of market peers.

It goes on to say that the Executive team has delivered significant value to shareholders in the form of continued Total Shareholder Return growth (in excess of 500% over seven years).

Willis Towers Watson was appointed as the advisor to the Remuneration Committee and charged €244,000 (2014: €66,000) for advising the committee in 2015.

Chairman of the Board, Michael Dowling, received €230,000 in fees in 2015, up from €95,000 in 2014.

Dowling (71) was appointed to the Chair on January 1, 2015. He is a former Secretary General of the Department of Agriculture and has served on the board for the past 18 years.

[caption id="attachment_113623" align="aligncenter" width="659"]Source: Kerry Group Source: Kerry Group[/caption]

Former General Secretary of the Department of Agriculture Tom Moran was appointed to the board on September 29, 2015 and was paid €16,167 for 2015.

According to the report, the Group currently has four independent Non-Executive Directors on the Board who are also Directors of Kerry Co-operative Creameries (KCC), the Group’s largest shareholder.

Over the past 30 years KCC’s shareholding has reduced from 100% to its current level of 13.7%.

Other significant shareholders in Kerry Group include the Capital Group Companies which has 4.6% of shares and Blackrock Investment Management, which has 7,039,391 shares or 4.0%.