Those poor bastards.
But at least the Perth-based outfit’s directors managed to find a way to keep costs down by using mates’ rates.
Western Australia sure is a small place. And it turns out more than $1 million was paid for “professional services,” “license fees”, “transaction fees” and “public relations” to companies associated with several of The Agency’s directors.
For the record, directors Adam Davey and Andrew Jensen are not involved in any of the Agency’s declared related party transactions, which the company otherwise assures us are legitimate, arms-length transactions and reasonable fees.
That’s according to the company’s latest annual report.
Even The Agency’s PR agency is partly owned by the company’s managing director Paul Niardone.
How’s that for synergies.
The report also reveals more than $147,000 was this year advanced to Lahood — one of the country’s top-selling real estate agents — as an advance on commissions.
Meanwhile, Lahood offloaded his pad in Sydney’s East just a few months ago for $2.3 million.
At least he used The Agency!
The same can’t be said for Finsure mortgage broking boss John Kolenda, the wealthy businessman who was there at the start putting the new real estate agency together.
According to the annual report, Kolenda’s outfit Aura Capital was paid $791,900 in transaction fees from The Agency. Another company he co-owns — Daring Investments — took almost $40,000 in the last two years.
Kolenda sold his mansion last year, while on The Agency’s board, for $13.6 million. The listing agents? Sotheby’s International Realty.
Flicking the switch from footy to the geegees, Victoria’s racing fraternity turned out in force for Tabcorp’s spring carnival launch on Tuesday.
Riding high on the betting giant’s investment in the box office-topping film Ride Like A Girl, Tabcorp chief David Attenborough hosted a crowd including Victoria Racing Club chair Amanda Elliott, Racing Minister Martin Pakula and Racing Victoria chairman Brian Kruger for the Guy Grossi-catered lunch at South Melbourne’s Luminare.
There were a few weary AFL types there too including Richmond’s Gold Coast Suns recruit Tom Lynch and Greater Western Sydney’s Jonathan Patton, pondering his mooted move to Hawthorn.
Looking much more more bright-eyed was Michelle Payne, upon whose fairytale 2015 Melbourne Cup win the film is based. Her tip this year? Five-year-old NZ gelding Surprise Baby as the best local chance for the big race.
CASHING IN, SELLING OUT
It was with a heavy heart and $80 million richer that advertising veteran John Singleton cashed in his 32.2 per cent stake in Macquarie Media — owner of Sydney talkback station 2GB and top-rating Melbourne outlet 3AW — to Nine Entertainment last week.
Singleton’s departure left only a few of the company’s major shareholders on the register.
As it has become clear, venture capitalist Mark Carnegie doesn’t want to part with his 3.6 per cent if the $1.46 per share offer isn’t increased. Wilson Asset Management boss Geoff Wilson, architect of the last election’s franking fightback, who controls 4.7 per cent of Macquarie, is even more reluctant.
But Nine, the publisher of this masthead, yesterday crept up the register.
Could it be 2GB’s controversial star breakfast presenter Alan Jones selling out? He had owned 2.1 million shares through his private Hadiac investment vehicle.
Jones, who is in Japan for the Rugby World Cup, could not be reached yesterday.
Premier Daniel Andrews has, CBD is told, finally managed to solve the industrial unrest that has been brewing in the corridors of his Spring Street suites.
In August, spinners and advisors, among others, were refusing to work a minute before 9am and a second after 5pm as a bitter pay dispute raged. This was resolved yesterday after the Premier’s staff agreed to a modest annual pay rise of less than two per cent for three years.
Now all Andrews has to do is soothe the sore feelings among the tens of thousands of public servants who are still furious over his recent double digit pay rise.
Asked how they felt about the dispute, a media advisor would only mutter that they were “getting on with the job” and “wouldn’t provide a running commentary”.
Kylar Loussikian is The Sydney Morning Herald’s CBD columnist.
Debbie Cuthbertson is a senior writer and Saturday chief of staff at The Age.