By on October 19, 2010

Morale at Redflex Traffic Systems, the Australian photo enforcement company with more contracts in the United States than any other firm, has never been lower. Yesterday, the company faced the real possibility that the state government in Victoria, Australia would sue for the recovery of $15 million in citations issued by a faulty Redflex freeway speed camera system. Although the government currently refuses to issue refunds, it issued equally stern denials before giving in to public pressure by refunding $26 million worth of tickets over a high-profile accuracy failure in 2003.

The latest bad news comes as employees in the US office fear layoffs in the wake of the cancellation of the multimillion-dollar Arizona freeway photo radar program. Some workers at the company have privately expressed anger that, despite firm’s precarious financial state, the head of US operations will receive a substantial raise. Shareholders are no more likely to be pleased to learn at the November 19 annual meeting that Karen Finley will be paid US$498,108 in a year when net profit for shareholders dropped 92.6 percent to a total of just $437,300.

This year, Finley boosted her salary by $9000 to $309,000 in addition to requesting 79,701 shares of stock incentives worth US$189,108. Other company directors can look forward to lavish increases as the annual meeting will vote on increasing the maximum annual payment to company directors from $396,000 to $693,000. Redflex CEO Graham Davie will be paid slightly less than Finley at $496,637– $310,375 in salary and $186,262 in stock.

In the past five years, that stock has dropped 19 percent compared to a 7 percent gain on the ASX 200 with shares currently trading at just US$2.41 on the Australian Securities Exchange. This poor performance has made the company an attractive buyout target. Toll road giant Macquarie Bank made an offer to buy out the firm, and more recently the German conglomerate Siemens AG has expressed interest.

Shareholders must approve the raises for company directors, the performance rights granted to Finley and Davie and the overall remuneration report.


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21 Comments on “Redflex Executive Salary Exceeds Shareholder Profit...”

  • avatar

    I assumed she “needed” the increase to cover any tax increases. Poor pussy. Just another poor manager being greedy. I would like Republcians to call this out – increased pay for poor performance – shouldn`t be tolerated.

    • 0 avatar

      Lokk, don’t try and make this issue a Republican/Democrat one, you’ll lose that arguement. Executive compensation is a problem that goes well past politics. Look at one of your heroes, I’m sure, Jeffery Immelt of GE. Their stock has done almost nothing but go down since he took over yet he is a hyper-partisan Democrat and he is obscenely compensated for failure.

      And if you really want me to bring it up, isn’t your President paid very well for failure?

    • 0 avatar

      Why should the government get involved?
      I mean, much as I’d like to see some limitations put on upper class robber-baronism, the money we’re talking about here is peanuts compared to, eg, GM or Chrysler’s management’s performance, or any one of a number of banks, and Redflex is not a ward of state.  If their shareholders don’t like it, they can choose to boot the directors, or they can do like GM’s board did, which is to look the other way for a quarter-century.

    • 0 avatar

      MikeAR – I assume the AR is for Arkansas so he is your President too! He is paid less than this woman and define failure. Stopping a depression, keeping GM and Chyrlser in business with a realistic chance fo being paid back. The bank bailouts were under Bush and have made a profit. I enjoyed my tax cuts under the stimulus package along with the newly resurfaced roads here in NC.

  • avatar

    F Redflex shareholders.  I hope they lose everything.  Them and CCA and the GEO Group. I hope they rot in hell.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    The irony is delicious. The shareholders looked to make a killing doing it to the public. Instead, she got the gold mine and they got the shaft.

    Suck it up Buttercup!

  • avatar

    Redflex, Go out of business, NOW

  • avatar
    7th Frog

    Am I the only one who wants to punch her in he big Jay Leno chin? They do need to go out of business.

  • avatar

    redflex may well find a buyer… the infamous macquarie group – the same ones who own the tollways
    they get the tolls, they fine you when you speed… the perfect storm
    be very afraid when this happens

  • avatar

    I love the smell of entitlement in the morning.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Executives take more whilst employees and shareholders get the scraps. Nothing new here :(.

  • avatar

    That CEO compensation is peanuts compared to what our plutocratic masters make here in the good ol’ land of the free. Typically, you’d add a zero to it — or maybe two, particularly if you’re a shark running a bailed-out bank

  • avatar

    Redflex is a scum outfit peddling a scum idea.  But my chief scorn is reserved for all the (mostly) local politicians that saw the cash cow, and in their attempts to milk it began marketing their totalitarian idea as some sort of passive benefit for citizens.

    • 0 avatar

      If the local pols are personally profiting from doing business with Redflex, they should be prosecuted.  If they’re trying to compensate for dramatically dropping tax revenue in an environment where raising taxes is toxic,  well, what the hell are they supposed to do? While I agree that handing Redflex the keys to the piggybank is asinine, the alternative is cutting services.  And no matter what you cut, someone loses.  I know a very well-off business owner who is incensed that our city is going to reduce open hours at the municipal swimming pool.  To her, it’s a vital service because, well, she uses it.  And so it goes.
      I hate paying taxes as much as anyone, but I’d rather pay taxes that are spent to improve my city than get stuck paying some BS ticket, knowing that half my fine is going to pad Karen Finley’s portfolio.

    • 0 avatar

      Many leaders who work in government show disdain for those that pay their salaries.  There is no mystery why voters are against raising taxes – they’ve learned that there is no connection between higher taxes and better services.
      Other than national defense and the justice system, name one thing the government is more efficient at doing than a for profit (or even a faith based not-for-profit) could do more efficiently.

  • avatar
    Amendment X

    I refrain from profanity only when discussing issues other than automated ticketing. Therefore, I must say,

  • avatar

    An Italian friend tells me there’s all kind of speed cameras on the autostrada there, that you can rack up ticket after ticket without knowing it, and that they’ve (finally) instituted a point system such as Americans are familiar with, so that a heedless driver can probably blow his license on one tank of gas. This is thought to have reduced fatalities. I wonder if there’s any push-back there such as we see here. Italians love cars and love to drive fast.

  • avatar

    If there’s a company that deserves to be ruined by greedy, inept management, it’s Redflex.

  • avatar
    Greg Locock

    While I am not really interested in them, RDF.AX are up 60% from their post GFC low, a performance that beats my portfolio in that timeframe.

  • avatar

    Why do politicians buy the cameras?

    1. They think we like cameras!

    There’s Astroturf Lobbying by the red light cam Industry. (Google Rynski and Astroturf.) Astroturf Lobbying is when a PR firm creates an artificial grassroots movement via comments posted on newspaper articles like this one. The politicians, sensing strong public support (they read these comment columns too), give the OK for cameras.

    2. They’re immune to the tickets!

    In California 1.5 million privately-owned cars have plate numbers protected from easy look up, effectively invisible to agencies trying to process camera violations. This includes local politicians, bureaucrats, retired cops, other govt. employees, their families and ADULT children!
    Until August, there was a AB 2097 in Sacramento to change things so that the protected guys would receive the tickets they are due. But the politicians killed it.. They, and the bureaucrats, will continue to laugh at us as we pay our $500 (five hundred) fines.

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