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Cargill Must Pay Ex-Singapore Trader Bonus, Judge Says

Cargill Must Pay Former Singapore Trader’s Bonus, Judges Say
Mano Vikrant Singh , who left Cargill in 2008, sued the company claiming his bonus was wrongly forfeited. Photographer: Diego Giudice/Bloomberg

Cargill Inc., the biggest agricultural company in the U.S., must pay a former Singapore-based trader $1.74 million in deferred bonuses, the appeals court in the Asian city ruled.

“The employee is entitled to the bonus,” Judges Andrew Phang, Chao Hick Tin and Andrew Ang wrote in a 49-page ruling received yesterday.

Mano Vikrant Singh, who left Cargill in 2008, sued the company claiming his bonus was wrongly forfeited. Singh, who was paid a monthly salary of S$25,000 ($20,054), had a bonus of $3.2 million for the 2008 financial year, according to the ruling.

Cargill, which forbade some staff that left from continuing a career within the financial or commodity-trading industries for two years, sought to stifle competition with its restrictions, Singh had said in his complaint.

Cargill, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, had demanded that Singh return confidential information he took from the firm, and said he breached his contract by setting up Xangbo Global Markets Pte.

The company said in a statement today it will abide by the decision.

Philip Jeyaretnam, Singh’s lawyer, said the judgment established that the restraint of trade doctrine doesn’t only apply to outright prohibition of post-employment competition.

Alain Monie

In a separate ruling, Singapore High Court Judge Lee Seiu Kin said that Ingram Micro Inc. Chief Executive Officer Alain Monie should be paid $4.56 million in incentives and bonus from his former employer Asia Pacific Resources International Ltd., a pulp and paper maker.

Monie, who was recruited to be the CEO of the paper company, was paid S$97,500 a month, according to the Aug. 7 verdict. He quit in October 2011 after about 14 months and sued the company for the payment owed under his employment contract.

“The source of the dispute lies in the poor manner in which the agreement was drafted,” the judge wrote.

Asia Pacific Resources didn’t reply to an e-mail seeking comment.

The cases are: Alain Monie v APRIL Management Pte. OS946/2011. Singapore High Court and Mano Vikrant Singh v Cargill TSF Asia Pte. OS103/2011. Singapore Court of Appeal.

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