COCKTALES: SMC executives highest-paid in Philippines, followed by... means BUSINESS

The top seven executives of San Miguel Corp. led by chairman Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. and president Ramon Ang have solidified their positions as the country's highest paid executives among the country's listed companies.

Cojuangco, Ang, treasurer Ferdinand Constantino, general counsel Virgilio Jacinto, deputy chief finance officer Joseph Pineda, corporate mergers and acquisition head Ma. Belen Buensuceso and human resources chief David Santos received P364.2 million in combined salaries and bonuses last year on the back of historic-high P28.5 billion profit.

That works out to an average of, praise the Lord!, P52 million each.

The year before, San Miguel compensated its senior management team P330.6 million, meaning the seven executives this year were rewarded with about P34 million in combined salary increases.

Freed from decades-long government sequestration, the country's largest conglomerate has also worked out a provision in its by-laws awarding its board a profit-sharing scheme allowing up to two percent of the year's profit to be distributed among the 15 directors.

Two percent of P28.5 billion translates to the rarefied neighborhood of P570 million, or theoretically up to P38 million each director.

Cocktales has to say "theoretically" because San Miguel, like any other listed company, is not required to disclose or break down the compensation package for its directors and top officers.

Incidentally, PNoy's favorite retired chief justice, Reynato Puno, is part of the charmed 15-member San Miguel board.

Arroyo's finance secretary Margarito Teves, meanwhile, is set to be elected as an independent director come the June 14 shareholders' meeting, notwithstanding his plan to run for governor of Negros Oriental.

Lopezes come in second

 The industry anecdote about the Lopezes being generous employers is true.

ABS-CBN not only leapt way ahead of GMA Network as reported in this space on May 24, the Lopez network's compensation package for its top management was second highest among the public companies.

The five-member management team led by ABS-CBN chief executive Eugenio "Gabby" Lopez III received over P233 million in pay last year on the back of P2.42 billion profit, compared to, say, Ayala Corporation's chief executive Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala's, whose 12-member team took home P339 million while generating nearly P9.4 billion profit for the country's oldest conglomerate.

For those too lazy to tap their mobile phone's calculators, the Lopez pay envelope put on average 46.6 million smiles on each of the lucky five officers. The Zobel team, on the other hand, have over 28 million reasons each to thank Someone Up There.

The ABS-CBN pay slips even outpaced those received by the Lopez patriarch and his team over at the First Philippine Holdings, despite the power company generating P4.8 billion profit, two times bigger than the broadcast network's.

The combined pay checks of First Philippine chairman emeritus Oscar Lopez, his son and chief executive Federico "Piki" Lopez and three others last year amounted to P216. 7 million, about P43.3 million each.

That works out to about P3 million less for each than the Gabby Lopez team's.

But wait, Piki Lopez, Gabby's first cousin, packs another wallop - he happens to also be the chairman and chief executive of First Gen, another power generating company controlled by the Lopez clan.

Piki Lopez and four other top First Gen officers last year took home, hopefully to their respective spouses, P209 million in combined compensation.

That works, on average, another P41.8 million extra.

Heard through the grapevine

The Makati Regional Trial Court has issued a writ of preliminary attachment on Chemphil Group chairman Antonio Garcia's personal holdings company, 3G Holdings, on the complaint of MRC Allied chairman Benjamin Bitanga that Garcia and his daughter, 3G Holdings president Alexandra Garcia, had defrauded him of P10 million.

Email Vic Agustin at