Icon Chief Beats Leading Irish CEOs for Total Reward Last Year

Icon Plc Chief Executive Officer Ciaran Murray earned the equivalent of $9.46 million in 2012, a higher remuneration than that of CEOs at the 15 biggest listed Irish companies on the benchmark ISEQ Overall Index.

Murray, who became CEO of clinical research business Icon in October 2011 after serving as chief financial officer, was awarded a bonus of $5.45 million in 2012, according to documents posted online June 17, ahead of the annual meeting. Murray’s total compensation in 2011 was $1.78 million.

“As the company is, to a large extent a people business, the board recognized the importance of financially rewarding key members of the executive management team for delivering such a successful 2012,” Chairman Thomas Lynch said in a letter to shareholders dated June 14.

Icon, which carries out clinical trials for companies such as Pfizer Inc., ended its Irish Stock Exchange listing and moved its primary listing to the U.S. Nasdaq at the start of the year. The stock rose 62 percent in 2012 and climbed 30% percent to $36.22 this year at yesterday’s close, giving the company a market value of $2.2 billion. Net income more than doubled to $55.4 million last year.

Part of Murray’s bonus has already been paid and he will receive $1.94 million in March 2014 and the same figure again the following year, according to the company documents. The unpaid bonus is payable in cash or shares, at the discretion of the Dublin-based company’s compensation committee.

Incentive Plan

Murray’s salary at Icon was 606,000 euros ($813,000) last year, in addition to share-based compensation of $2.09 million, the annual report shows. The company discloses individual parts of compensation in dollars or euros.

Under a separate long-term incentive plan, Murray also stands to benefit from restricted stock units and awards worth $5.96 million as of May 1, when they were granted, if he meets certain targets and remains employed until May 2018.

“Our compensation levels are benchmarked against, and are comparable with, our global industry peers,” Icon said in a statement. “The rise in certain compensation levels in 2012 appropriately reflects that this was a very successful year for Icon.”

Myles Lee, CEO of CRH Plc, Ireland’s largest listed company with a market value of 11.3 billion euros, earned 2.72 million euros last year, according to the company’s annual report.

Steve Cutler, president of Icon’s clinical research services, earned $4.2 million in 2012 including deferred payments, while Murray’s successor as CFO Brendan Brennan earned $2.4 million.