Shikun & Binui’s New CEO Gets One of Israel’s Top Salaries

Yoram Gabison
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Yoram Gabison

Housing & Construction Holdings' incoming CEO will be one of Israel’s best-paid salaried employees, after the construction company’s board approved his terms Tuesday.

Eyal Lapidot is expected to receive annual compensation of 8 million shekels ($2.2 million), including his salary and grants, plus stock options worth another 34 million shekels.

The company, also known in Hebrew as Shikun & Binui, paid his predecessor Moshe Lahmani a salary of 145,000 shekels a month, a signing grant of up to six monthly salaries, an annual grant of 2.6 million shekels, 205,000 shares contingent on the company’s performance, and 2.1 million options that would come due between 2019 and 2021.

Lapidot is coming from Phoenix Insurance, where his salary costs totaled nearly 70 million shekels during his decade there from 2009 to 2018. During that period, Phoenix went from being one of Israel’s weaker insurance companies to its second largest by market value — a fivefold increase from 1.1 billion shekels to 5.5 billion shekels.

In 2016, however, Israel capped the salaries of executives at publicly held financial institutions, which limited Lapidot’s earnings. Lapidot earned 3.6 million shekels in 2018. Lapidot was hoping to be compensated for Phoenix’s pending sale to Centerbridge Partners, but this was blocked due to the law curbing executives’ salaries in the financial sector — reportedly the main reason Lapidot is leaving.

His challenges at Housing & Construction will include getting a subsidiary past corruption investigations relating to suspicions that employees paid bribes in Africa and Guatemala in order to receive contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Eyal Lapidot at a conference, April 29, 2015.Credit: Fabian Koldorff

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