Salaries for top Enmax executives continued to increase in 2019
CEO took home more than $2.7 million last year
Salaries and bonuses for top officials at the city-owned Enmax continued to increase last year, with CEO Gianna Manes taking home more than $2.7 million in compensation — a quarter of a million more than the previous year.
Enmax says the new figures, which were released today, are benchmarked against companies of a similar size in the energy sector and target the 50th percentile.
That means the company doesn't lead in compensation, but simultaneously doesn't have the lowest-paid leadership.
Greg Melchin, the chair of Enmax's board, said the pay increases were largely a result of bonuses paid to executives for achieving their objectives.
In addition, Melchin said board members were required to attend more meetings while compensation fell behind competitors.
"Last year, we did increase the retainer. But the bulk of the extra fees are precisely that — we had director search, we had CEO search, we had [the purchase of] Emera Maine," Melchin said. "Just a substantial amount, but for a long time we kept it back."
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said compensation at the city-owned utility was directed by council several years ago to stay in line with competitors.
"To me, that was the right thing to do for a company that is owned by the people of Calgary," Nenshi said. "I continue to think that we are operating compensation in a way that is fair and transparent."
In March, Enmax signed a deal valued at $1.8 billion to purchase Emera Inc., a regulated electric transmission and distribution company that serves 159,000 customers in the northern part of Maine.
That deal saw a handful of executives split a bonus between $300,000 and $400,000.
"We're not going to try and have compensation that is high-end, we want to try to be respectful of that," Melchin said.
"But the growing size and complexity of the company, we also want to try to attract the right calibre of people for executives and director."
Manes, who has been at the helm of Enmax since 2012, will step down next month. She will be replaced by Wayne O'Connor, CEO of Nova Scotia Power as of June 22. Manes will remain a member of Enmax's board until July 31 to assist with the transition.
With files from Scott Dippel and The Canadian Press