Big incentive for PartyGaming CEO

Online gambling group PartyGaming's CEO, Jim Ryan has an added incentive to keep the company forward - this week he was awarded company shares worth more than GBP 280 000, six months after he was issued company shares worth almost GBP 1.5 million under PartyGaming’s Share Option incentive plan (ESOP). As the operational leader of the company Ryan gets 125 000 shares each year under the plan.

Ryan can cash in his shares at 227p each, so his latest annual tranche of shares is worth some GBP 283 750. In terms of his employment contract, Ryan received 645 100 shares late last year, which at the 227p exercisable rate were worth GBP 1.5 million.

Ryan has some daunting responsibilities in running the large and diverse group for owners Ruth Parasol and her husband Russ Deleon - the major shareholders. He has been closely involved in the difficult and protracted negotiations which this week finally saw the US Department of Justice let Party off the hook on a threatened prosecution for its pre-UIGEA activities in America...at a cost of $105 million spread over several years and regarded by most industry observers as good horse-trading. And with that cloud removed from its horizon, Ryan will be even busier expanding the group with merger and acquisition strategies.

Ryan's management colleague, finance director Marty Weigold has an even bigger incentive under the ESOP arrangement - he has been awarded 337 500 shares worth around GBP 766 000 at the excercisable rate, his third such incentive from the company which has given him shares worth a total of GBP 1.36 million.

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