Top Ruger execs got big pay hikes in 2016

CEO led the way with 70 percent compensation increase

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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