Top Ruger execs got big pay hikes in 2016

CEO led the way with 70 percent compensation increase


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Executives with two key New Hampshire companies received larger raises than their shareholders, according to recently released proxy filings.

Shareholders of Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. don’t have much to complain about. The company, based in Connecticut, but with a major facility in Newport, sold $664 million worth of guns and castings in 2016, earning profits of $87 million, $4.59 per diluted share, a 43 percent increase.

But the company’s five top executives got a 67 percent pay hike, pulling in $11.3 million in 2016, compared to $6.8 million in 2015. Outgoing CEO Michael O. Fifer led the way with $4.3 million compensation package, a 70 percent increase. His pay hike was primarily due to $1.7 million in accrued dividends paid upon vesting and conversion of equity awards from prior years.

Christopher J. Killoy, Ruger’s president and chief operating officer – who will be taking the reins from Fifer at the May 9 annual shareholders meeting – earned $2.5 million in 2016, nearly double the $1.3 million package he was given in 2015. Chief Financial Officer Thomas Dineen received $1.4 million; Mark Lang, group vice president, earned $1.6 million; and Thomas Sullivan, vice president of Newport operations, was paid $1.46 million. Each of the three earned just under $1 million in 2015.

Unitil Corp.’s earnings also went up, but not by much – $27 million, or $1.94 per diluted share, a 5 percent increase from the previous year.

The company’s top five executives increased their total compensation by 11 percent, to $6.6 million from $5.9 million in 2015, though that was down from 2014, when they earned $6.5 million.

CEO Robert G. Schoenberger’s $3 million salary was the highest, followed by CFO Mark Collin and COO Thomas Meissner Jr. each earning just over a $1 million.

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