Domino’s boss scores massive multi million $$$$ pay day from cheap pizza

AUSTRALIA’S best-paid CEO has made his fortune selling pizza, it has been revealed.

A new report by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) named Domino’s Pizza boss Don Meij as the country’s highest-earning CEO, after he took home a whopping $36.84 million last year.

The pizza boss made his dough after he exercised options to acquire shares worth $35.7 million.

Don Meij beat out Westfield’s Peter and Steven Lowy, who made a combined $25.9 million in 2017, and Macquarie’s Nicholas Moore, on $25.19 million, for the top spot.

After the news broke, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the pay packets of our company chief executives were “extraordinarily high”.

“As someone who most of his life has worked in businesses that I’ve only owned or been a partner in, I find the amount, the pay rates for people working as an employee for a lot of big public-listed companies extraordinarily high,” Mr Turnbull told 3AW radio on Tuesday.

He said Mr Meij’s salary “seems like a hell of a lot”.

“They’d have to be extremely productive,” he added.

The new figures reveal Aussie CEO’s are enjoying the fattest pay packets in 17 years.

ASCI chief executive Louise Davidson told the ABC the results showed CEO’s were not with it.

“At a time when public trust in business is at a low ebb and wages growth is weak, board decisions to pay large bonuses just for hitting budget targets rather than exceptional performance are especially tone deaf,” Ms Davidson said.

According to the survey, median-realised pay for ASX 100 chief executives rose 12.4 per cent to $4.36 million while bonus payments rocketed by more than 18 per cent.

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Henry Sapiecha

AUSTRALIAN $50 BANK NOTES FORGED WITH HI TECH PRINTER.HERE IS HOW.

A SYDNEY man has pleaded guilty to making $1 million in counterfeit $50 notes, boasting he forced the Reserve Bank of Australia to redesign the nation’s bank note currency.

Benjamin Gillette-Rothschild, 34, claimed the process was so easy he did it while kicking back in a comfortable leather office chair.

With no apparent formal training, he made fake cash so close to the real thing the RBA admitted that most members of the public wouldn’t be able to spot the difference.

He has been sentenced to an ­undisclosed sentence, with Judge Garry Neilson in the Downing Centre District Court imposing a suppression order on most details of the case until “certain future events have eventuated”.

one-of-these-50-australian-bank-notes-is-the-real-deal-the-other-is-100-per-cent-fake-image-www-scamsfakes-com

One of these notes is the real deal, the other is 100 % fake. Scroll to the bottom of the article & see if you guessed correctly.

A set of agreed facts tendered in the case show Gillette-Rothschild pleaded guilty to eight charges relating to making counterfeit money and was sentenced on February 23. Exactly how he learnt as to making the fake notes cannot be ­devulged because of a court order.

An RBA spokesman did not ­respond to questions from The Sunday Telegraph about whether the design of any of Australia’s bank notes were changed in response to Gillette-Rothschild’s scheme….MORE HERE

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Henry Sapiecha

Commonwealth Bank of Australia loses out to having royal commission secrets kept from public

The CBA has lost its attempt to have its secret, commercially sensitive information kept from the public in its evidence given to the banking royal commission.

CBA had asked for a ream of information included in the statement provided by its executive general manager, retail products, Clive Richard van Hore, to the royal commission not to be published.

Commonwealth Bank has lost its bid to have its secrets not published by the royal commission.

The information included the bank’s correspondence with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, internal documents, and details of its remediation scheme.

The application related to the evidence presented regarding the bank’s credit card-plus product.

It is understood other major banks were planning to ask for similar non-disclosures or had already asked ahead of the decision made by Commissioner Kenneth Hayne.

“Apart from the one case where a particular customer’s name and policy number
would otherwise have been revealed, none of the particular information in respect of
which CBA sought directions was shown to be of a kind that should not be published,” Commissioner Hayne said.

“CBA identified no damage to itself or any other person that would follow from
publication of the material. Subject to the direction described above, the application
is otherwise refused.”

Commissioner Hayne said he encouraged the approach of the CBA to make such a request while the statement was still in draft form.

A spokesman for the bank said it appreciated the decision from the royal commission.

The royal commission will have its first round of hearings from March 13. The first fortnight will look at case studies about areas including home loans, car loans, credit cards, add-on insurance, credit offers and account admin.

Henry Sapiecha

Over 20 Sydney Uni staff under investigation for finance fraud

The University of Sydney is investigating more than 20 staff for financial misconduct.

Fairfax Media understands the university is auditing expenditure estimated at tens of thousands of dollars for entertainment including birthday cakes, coffees, alcohol,stationery & personal items

The staff being put in the firing line work in student administration and recruitment, which generates in excess of $1 billion a year in revenue for the university.

A spokeswoman for the university told Fairfax Media that 21 staff members were being interviewed in relation to allegations of financial misconduct.

“The University takes any allegation of financial misconduct very seriously,” the spokesperson said.

“At this stage, no formal findings of misconduct have been made against any of the staff members being questioned and the process is continuing”

Fairfax Media understands that staff were contacted a few weeks ago and told they were under investigation.

One staff mperson who spoke on the condition of anonymity said staff had been aghast at the “suggestion they had been stealing from their UNIV. employer”.

“Staff were told on a Friday they would be getting formal correspondence on the Monday, but it was not disclosed as to what the charges were,” the staff member stated.

“It was a phone call that was read from a prepared script.”

Staff made written submissions and some were questioned.

“It was thought that 16 birthday cakes was excessive,” the staff member said. “These were minor misdemeanours at worst. It was about whether taking a student out for a coffee was technically a meeting or classed as entertainment.”

The university spokeswoman said the university’s enterprise agreement insisted that when an allegation is made that employees “are given an opportunity to respond to the allegation before a finding is concluded”.

The turmoil in the student administration department now follows the departure of its Executive Director of Global Student Recruitment and Mobility, Michelle Carlin in September last year. It is not alleged that she is in any way linked to the investigation of her former staff.

“I’m absolutely confident that this high achieving team have nothing to worry about,” Ms Carlin said.

“I’m not sure what the reason behind this is, but it is upsetting to see good people placed under this type of stress when they have just been trying to do the best by the university and their results do more than reflect this.”

Ms Carlin’s boss Tyrone Carlin, who is not related to her, stepped down from his position as deputy vice-chancellor (registrar) late last year to return to teaching and research. It is not alleged his departure is linked in any way as well to the current investigation of staff.

University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor Michael Spence sent an email to staff in October last year saying he had accepted Professor Carlin’s resignation.

“Tyrone has decided to step down from his DVC role at the finalty of this year so he can return to his substantive professorial position within the Business School,” Professor Spence said.

“While it is sad to see him leave his current position, I am very pleased that he will be able to return to his teaching and research, and as such remain a very valuable member of the University community.”

Professor Spence credited Professor Carlin for the great transformation of student administration.

“His oversight of the implementation of a whole of institution student administration team completed the ambitious and demanding agenda of moving student administrative functions from faculties and schools towards an integrated, whole of institution delivery approach,” Professor Spence said.

Fairfax Media sought comment from Professor Carlin, but there was no response from him.

In an unrelated matter, yet another deputy vice-chancellor, Professor Shane Houston, left his position last year. He has commenced legal action over his dismissal as the University of Sydney’s first deputy vice-chancellor for Aboriginal services.

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Henry Sapiecha

ANOTHER AUSSIE UNICORN: Design newbie Canva now valued at above $US1 billion in its latest capital raising

 

Melanie Perkins, co-founder of Canva. Photo: Supplied.

Online design and publishing platform Canva has become the first Australian start-up since Atlassian to join the elite ranks of Silicon Valley unicorns with a valuation in excess of $US1 billion ($1.28 billion).

The valuation is based on a $US40 million series A funding round. It is the sixth funding round since the company was founded 4½ years ago by Melanie Perkins, Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams.

The latest funding won the support of one of Silicon Valley’s top five venture capitalists, Sequoia Capital, which was an early investor in Apple, Google, WhatsApp, Cisco, Oracle, Yahoo and LinkedIn.

Canva chief executive Ms Perkins said the money raised from existing and new shareholders would be used to expand the company’s range of online design and publishing products.

“We are in 190 countries, in 100 languages and we have done about 1 per cent of what is possible,” she told The Australian Financial Review in an interview at the company’s Sydney head office in inner-city Surry Hills.

“I know we have a $US1 billion valuation but we like to say we are a baby unicorn,” Ms Perkins said. “There is a lot more to do before we are grown up.”

When asked about her ambition for Canva, Ms Perkins did not hesitate before saying: “I think we can make Canva the most valuable tech company in the world.”

To achieve that ambition Canva will have to expand its market value about 900 times to beat the $US890 billion valuation of Apple, the world’s largest company.

That goal sounds outrageous considering Canva lost $3.3 million in the year to June 2017.

But Rick Baker, a partner of Canva shareholder Blackbird Ventures, said Canva is possibly one of the fastest-growing software companies of all time measured in terms of percentage growth in recurring revenue.

The company earns revenue from a subscription model.

“Canva is making huge strides in democratising design for everyone,” he said. “Its product growth and adoption across many demographics is truly exceptional.”

Mr Baker first met Ms Perkins and Mr Obrecht in 2010 before they had launched Canva.

“I convinced them to delay their first seed funding round until after Blackbird Ventures was established,” he said.

“Our first investment as a venture capital firm was the $250,000 we invested in Canva.”

Breaking silos

Lots of smart money has supported the Canva business, including Australian entrepreneurs Paul Bassat from SEEK and Daniel Petre from AirTree Ventures.

The company has attracted heaps of attention in Silicon Valley USA.

Early investors were Google Maps founder Lars Rasmussen, legendary venture capitalist Bill Tai, former Yahoo CFO Ken Goldman and Hollywood actors Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson.

A number of Silicon Valley venture capital firms apart from Sequoia have backed Canva including Felicis Ventures, Vayner Capital, Matrix Partners and Shasta Ventures.

Ms Perkins admitted that Canva’s two major competitors were design software companies Adobe and Microsoft.

But she said Canva was built on breaking down the silos and complexity that are part and parcel of using the products sold by Adobe and Microsoft.

“The world is rapidly becoming more visual, yet traditional design tools in the market are too complicated to use, or so costly that they become inaccessible,” Ms Perkins said.

“Canva is designed to enable individual and teams to collaborate seamlessly, and our growing footprint is evidence of the widespread need that we are addressing.

“This extra financing will bring us that much closer to giving everyone the ability to thrive in an increasingly visual environment.”

Canva’s growth rates in terms of customer usage of its platform have been staggering.

After eight months of existence about 350,000 designs were being created each month. After 20 months of existence about 3 million designs were created each month.

Today, after 52 months in operation, Canva’s platform is handling about 34 million designs a month.

The idea for Canva had its roots in the lounge room of Ms Perkins’s family home in the northern Perth suburb of Duncraig. She and Mr Obrecht started a printing company called Fusion Books, which printed school yearbooks.

Cameron Adams, a former Google engineer, joined the company as a co-founder before its first round of seed funding in 2013.

Since then the company has raised $US81 million.

Atlassian became a unicorn well before it listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange with a valuation of $US6 billion in 2015. Its market valuation is now $US11.9 billion.

This post appeared at the AFR.com. See the original here.

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Henry Sapiecha

Palmer notches $200m court win against Chinese state-owned enterprise Citic Pacific

Clive Palmer has described his victory in the long-running royalties battle in the Pilbara against Chinese state-owned enterprise Citic Pacific as a “win for all Australians”.

Palmer was awarded around $200 million in damages and a further $200 million to be paid annually for the next 30 years by the Western Australian Supreme Court last week in the dispute over royalty payments.

The dispute stems back to dealings between the two parties in 2006. Citic had paid Palmer $US415 million as part of takeover agreement, which included two separate royalties, for the Sino Iron project.

However, Citic refused to pay the second royalty, causing Minerlogy to make the claim in court.

WA Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Martin ruled that Citic’s wholly-owned subsidiaries Sino Iron and Korean Steel pay Palmer’s Mineralogy the damages.

“This is a win for Australian law over Chinese Communist Government powerhouses who have wasted precious court time, resources and energy,” Palmer said.

“Many Australian companies have lost these battles because they haven’t been able to afford to fight them.

“For too long they have used their power to try and crush Australian enterprise and thankfully today justice has been served.”

Another hearing will take place this week to address remaining issues in the dispute.

Henry Sapiecha

How this woman woke up with $25m in her bank

 

Clare Wainwright found $25 million accidentally transferred into her bank account

SYDNEY woman Clare Wainwright woke up to find herself $24.5 million richer and her mortgage paid off.

The lawyer first discovered the millions in her account on October 25.

Clare Wainwright found $25 million accidentally transferred into her bank account. Picture: Facebook

In September, NAB sent a letter confirming a direct debit for loan repayments had been set up.

The letter said Ms Wainwright’s monthly repayments would be $25,102,107 – not $2500 – with the next repayment due on October 25.

Her bank NAB first requested $25.1 million from her bank, St George Bank, who then transferred the substantial figure, heavily overdrawing Ms Wainwright’s account.

Despite both banks being contacted about the error, the money is still in Ms Wainwright’s account.

“When NAB accidentally pays out your entire mortgage, and gives you an extra $24.5mil to redraw … do I skip the country??” she jokingly wrote on Facebook.

Ms Wainwright told Fairfax Media that she had not been tempted to spend the millions.

“I’m a lawyer, which is why I haven’t spent the money,” she said. “Mostly because I figured it wouldn’t play out that well trying to play dumb on that.”

Clare Wainwright said she has resisted spending the $25 million.

“I saw it and I thought ‘Oh my gosh, it’s 25 mil’ and I laughed,” she said. “I showed my broker and he said ‘Oh god, I’ll get them to fix it’.”

NAB told her broker that they would be in touch within three business days.

“They obviously don’t understand I could just skip the country,” she said.

Asked how she would spend $25 million, Ms Wainwright said: “Well, if I was allowed to use it, I’d pay off my mortgage and buy another place. Or an island.”

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Henry Sapiecha

Westpac refunds $65m to 200,000 customers over discount errors

Westpac is refunding $65 million to about 200,000 customers after it failed to pass on benefits they should have received under package deals offered by the bank.

The bank on Thursday said an internal review had detected problems whereby it failed to automatically pay consumers all the benefits they were entitled to under packages sold through Westpac, St George, BankSA and Bank of Melbourne.

“When we identified these issues, we started the process of putting things right for customers. We also notified ASIC [regulator the Australian Securities and Investments Commission],” Mr Frazis said in a statement.

“Westpac apologises unreservedly for a process that did not suit customers. By automating the discounts, we have ensured that our customers will not be affected in this way again.”

Under the packages, customers were meant to get discounts on products including home loans, credit cards and transaction accounts, but the bank said it had not given the discounts on “ancillary” products including home and contents insurance.

The chief executive of Westpac’s consumer bank, George Frazis, apologised and said all affected customers would receive refunds.

The refunds are expected to total $65 million, or $45 million after tax, and will be included in its upcoming full-year results.

The refunds being paid by Westpac are for customers who took out “Premier Advantage” or “Advantage” packages with the bank from 2010.

Earlier this month, Mr Frazis said Westpac would also scrap “outdated” rules that resulted in customers being charged fees if they made more than a certain number of transactions each month, and it put a $5 cap on personal account-keeping fees.

News of the refund comes as National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank will appear before the federal government’s banking inquiry on Friday, following last week’s questioning of Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer and ANZ Bank chief Shayne Elliott.

Henry Sapiecha

A spare bedroom may get in for you thousands of dollars, but is it worth renting it out?

There are eight million spare bedrooms across Australia, with almost 80 per cent of households leaving at least one room empty, an analysis of census data shows.

With the average cost of renting a room at more than $200 a week in 2017, this could add up to more than $10,000 a year into the pocket of home owners, Finder spokeswoman Bessie Hassan said.

”Renting out a spare bedroom could earn you $958 a month towards monthly mortgage repayments or household bills,” she said.

Renting out a room in your home can be lucrative, but there may be implications for the property owner and the tenant. Photo: Jim Rice

In total, 5.6 million owner-occupied homes and 2 million rental properties have more rooms than they need for its occupants.

It could also save renters money – equalling to a saving of about $3500 a year compared to the cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment.

Cost of renting a room in major cities

Weekly rent Annual rent
Sydney $289 $15,028
Darwin $225 $11,700
Melbourne $216 $11,232
Gold Coast $201 $10,452
Canberra $194 $10,088
Wollongong $193 $10,036
Brisbane $193 $10,036
Sunshine Coast $184 $9568
Perth $184 $9568
Newcastle $176 $9152
Cairns $173 $8996
Hobart $167 $8684
Adelaide $164 $8428
Townsville $156 $8112
Geelong $153 $7956

Source: Flatmates.com.au, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Finder

Room rent calculated as a weighted average by taking into account weekly rent and population of different regions.

But is it as straightforward as it sounds?

What home owners should know

Renting out a room can quickly net a home owner a substantial sum.

But while it might help owners pay off a mortgage when they have one – the promise of extra cash from the spare room won’t be considered extra income by the bank when they’re looking to buy in the first place.

As a result those whose income is less than necessary for their dream home won’t be able to point to rental income to get them across the line, Dream Financial mortgage broker Paul Bevan said.

And for those who want to use the income from a rented room to take on an additional loan will also face difficulties.

“There’s only one specialist lender that will consider this type of income and it’s limited to $100 a week and the owner would need to show a lease agreement and that the rental income has been declared in their tax return,” Mr Bevan said.

The additional income would also have an impact when it comes to tax time, and potentially when selling the home, which should be considered before leasing a room.

The income from the spare room has to be declared to the ATO at the end of financial year, and therefore it could be taxable, VJR & Associates and Keshab Chartered Accountants accountant Jeremy Iannuzzelli said.

“It is also an implication for the capital gains tax status of your home,” Mr Iannuzzelli said.

Usually, your home is exempt from capital gains tax – but if you use it to earn income then this may no longer be the case.

In many situations, capital gains tax could be charged pro-rata based on the proportion of the property that was rented, he said.

For instance, if 10 per cent of the property was rented for the entire time you owned your home – then tax may be charged on 10 per cent of the capital gains. The ATO has a tool for working this out.

And, alike to an investment property, the home owner can claim pro rata tax deductions based on the percentage of the space available for rent.

“This would be the same if you rented out a granny flat,” he said.

Renting out a spare room to a tenant isn’t the only way to cash in on unused rooms in the house.

Spare bedrooms, attics, sheds, driveways and storage cages could also be rented out to those looking for storage options, Spacer chief executive Mike Rosenbaum said.

In urban areas, this could net between $250 and $350 a month – without having someone live in the property, which Mr Rosenbaum said would suit empty nesters and retirees.

“Families are also renting out storage cages and garages to help pay for bills, and city professionals who tend to catch Uber instead of driving a car, rent out their spare parking space for extra cash,” he said.

For those renting out a room for any purpose, it’s also crucial to consider insurance policies that cover this activity.

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What renters should know

For those who choose to rent a room in someone’s home, there may be some difficulty determining whether they would be legally considered a lodger or a tenant, Tenants Union of NSW senior policy officer Ned Cutcher said.

This definition has a significant impact on the rights of the renter, including notice periods and how bonds are kept.

“The old common law test of ‘exclusive possession’ doesn’t apply to tenancy agreements as defined in the Residential Tenancies Act, but boarders and lodgers are expressly excluded from the Act’s coverage,” he said.

The new test – known as “mastery of premises” – relates to whether the landlord reserves the right to access the room. In this situation, in NSW the tenant is not protected under the Tenancies Act.

In most cases, a renter is most likely considered a tenant if they can lock the room, do not get meals or linen as part of the agreement, have their own cooking facilities and are not subject to “house rules”.

In most other states, including Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia, the specific Tenancy Act does not apply to boarders and lodgers.

Henry Sapiecha

Geneva bank toilets flush with laundered dirty money

FILE PHOTO: A magazine cut-out of a toilet roll made up of paper money, is taped to a screen of a trading terminal at the German stock exchange in Frankfurt, June 3, 2009. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: A magazine cut-out of a toilet roll made up of paper money, is taped to a screen of a trading terminal at the German stock exchange in Frankfurt, June 3, 2009. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

GENEVA (Reuters) – Geneva prosecutors are investigating after toilets in a bank and three restaurants were blocked by about $100,000 in high-denomination euro banknotes, they said on Monday.

“We are not so interested in the motive but we want to be sure of the origin of the money,” spokesman Vincent Derouand said, adding that neither throwing money away nor blocking a toilet was a crime.

The Tribune de Geneve newspaper, which first reported the unusual deposit, said the first blockage occurred in the toilet serving the vault at UBS bank (UBSG.S) in Geneva’s financial district, and three nearby bistros found their facilities bunged up with 500-euro notes a few days later.

Derouand said two people had agreed to compensate the restaurants for the costs of the blockage, and the restaurants had withdrawn a complaint that they made when the incident happened in May.

The cash was confiscated during the investigation and it was unclear who would get it if it was found to be lawful. There was no immediate reason to think it was dirty money, Derouand said.

The European Central Bank said last year it had decided to discontinue the 500-euro note because of concerns that it was being used too often for illicit activities including money laundering.

A UBS spokesman declined to comment.

Henry Sapiecha