Adrian Gore, CEO of Discovery. Picture: MARTIN RHODES
Adrian Gore, CEO of Discovery. Picture: MARTIN RHODES

DISCOVERY Life CEO Herschel Mayers’s total remuneration was almost 50% greater than group CEO Adrian Gore’s in year to end-June, the group’s recently released annual report shows.

Discovery spent R103m on the remuneration of its nine executive directors and R146m if one includes three prescribed officers and 11 nonexecutive directors.

Although Discovery is known for its medical schemes, Discovery Life is the biggest contributor to group earnings and the trend is expected to continue next year.

Discovery Life contributed about 52%, or R1.8bn of the group’s normalised profit of R3.4bn in the year June.

The annual report shows Mr Mayers was paid total remuneration of R16.9m — a basic salary of about R5m, a performance bonus of R4.9m, a phantom scheme bonus of R6.1m, provident fund of R624,000 and R180,000 in other benefits which included medical aid contributions, travel and other allowances.

Discovery’s founder and CEO Mr Gore received a total payment of R11.3m, made up of a basic salary of R3.4m, performance bonus of about R4.6m, phantom scheme bonus of about R2.6m, provident fund of R549,000 and other benefits of R107,000.

Excluding the benefits from the phantom scheme, Neville Koopowitz CEO of PruHealth — Discovery’s UK health insurance arm — was arguably the highest paid executive.

Mr Koopowitz was paid a basic salary of about R7.6m, a performance bonus of about R4.6m, provident fund contributions of R131,000 and R26,000 in other benefits.

In the year to end June 2011, Mr Koopowitz received total pay of R26.4m. Over June and July 2010, Discovery said Mr Koopowitz was paid out all his phantom shares and bonuses in preparation for his emigration to Europe.

In the year 2013 the company said it would, among other things, focus on the establishment of a framework to monitor and report on the fair treatment of its customers and the implementation of the Solvency Assessment and Management Framework, prudential regulatory framework for long-term and short-term insurers.

Discovery’s share price has appreciated 25% in the year to date. On Monday, its stock ended down 0.73% at R54.65.