Avolon executive share bumper $7bn pay pot

Six highflying executives, led by Domhnal Slattery, at the Dublin-based aircraft leasing firm Avolon last year shared a bumper pay pot of $7m (€5.17m).

Avolon executive share bumper $7bn pay pot

The pay is disclosed in documentation filed with US regulators ahead of Avolon’s initial public offering.

The filings lodged with the Securities and Exchange Commission confirm Mr Slattery and his five executive colleagues have overseen the rapid growth of the firm since it was established four years ago.

Figures show Avolon doubled its pre-tax profits last year, going from $59.79m to $113m. Revenues also increased by 38%, from $325.89m to $449m, in the 12 months to December 31, 2013.

The 2013 pre-tax profits take account of large non-cash depreciation costs of €145.6m.

The other staff to share in the $7m pay pot all worked with Mr Slattery at the Dublin-based RBS Aviation Capital. He built company up and the five left to join the entrepreneur at Avolon in 2010.

They are: Avolon’s president and chief commercial officer, John Higgins; chief financial officer Andy Cronin; chief operating officer Tom Ashe; general counsel Ed Riley; and head of strategy Dick Forsberg.

The documentation lodged with the commission discloses that they all have shares in Avolon through a Delaware limited partnership, though the extent of the windfall they will enjoy from the initial public offering is not known as the company has yet to decide on the number of shares to be sold and their price range.

The filings show Avolon repurchased Class C shares from Mr Slattery for $5.6m on June 5, 2014 — the same day Mr Slattery paid back a loan owed to the firm of $10.6m. The loan was issued to Mr Slattery in 2010 in connection with the company’s formation.

Avolon has built a portfolio of aircraft valued at $4.38bn, with the firm’s owned, managed, and committed portfolio of 202 aircraft making it the 10th largest aircraft lessor in the world.

Stressing the importance of the company’s management team, the filing says the firm’s future success will depend significantly on the continued service of Mr Slattery, Mr Higgins, Mr Cronin, Mr Ashe, and other senior officers.

The company has 52 employees working in five offices globally, serving their 46 airline customers located in 27 countries. The company employed 44 people at the end of December 2012.

The growth of Avolon and bringing it to the brink of an initial public offering mark a personal triumph for Mr Slattery who has enjoyed a rollercoaster career in the aviation world.

The son of a grocer, he started off working in the postal room at the Tony Ryan-led Guinness Peat Aviation in Shannon in 1989. That firm hit the heights before its fortunes plummeted after a failed stock market flotation.

Mr Slattery subsequently built up RBS Aviation Capital before leaving to set up the ill-fated European air taxi service Jetbird for executives. It flopped before service could even begin.

However, in 2012, RBS sold RBS Aviation Capital to Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui for the then largest deal in Irish corporate history, $7.3bn.

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