‘Underpaid’ Lifestyle Communities CEO James Kelly has a 20% pay rise after two-year COVID-19 freeze

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Lifestyle Communities Managing Director and Co-founder James Kelly has had his salary bumped up to $900,000 a year.

The South Melbourne-based land lease owner/operator, which posted a net profit after tax of $27.5 million for HY2022, informed the ASX on 16 June that James’ salary, which includes superannuation and a $20,000 car allowance, will rise by 20% on 1 July.

In its annual report for the 2021 financial year, it was noted his salary was independently benchmarked in FY20, and the Board resolved to increase it in line with comparable roles noting it was low in the market.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic saw a freeze on remuneration increases.

“As announced to the market on 20 October 2021 the MD’s salary increased to $750,000 (inclusive of superannuation and $20,000 car allowance) effective 1 July 2021,” said Lifestyle Communities, which owns and operates a total of 5,231 homes occupied or in development.

“The Company undertook further external benchmarking in FY22 to align executive and board salaries with comparable roles in the market. The Company advises Mr Kelly’s total fixed remuneration will be $900,000 (inclusive of super and $20,000 car allowance) with effect from 1 July 2022.”

Lifestyle Communities’ market capitalisation is $1.23 billion, with its share price falling more than 50% in the past nine months. The stock hit a high of $23.82 in October last year and was trading at $11.51 last Friday.

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