January 14, 2008
This Christopher Webb story appeared in The Age on December 1, 2000, after the Sino Securities International AGM on the last day of that year's main AGM season.
Irrepressible Richard Li yesterday declared he was among the lowest paid madirectors in the land.
"I'm a very poor managing director," he told about 25 shareholders who attended Sino Securities International's annual meeting yesterday, the ast day of the annual meeting season.
Li was responding to a question from serial annual meeting flea Stephen Mayne, who asked Li when he would be paying up the contributing shares he held in Sino.
Just for the record, Sino's annual accounts showed Li was paid $187,059 for the June year.
Mayne dominated questioning at the meeting, even managing to get a question in about that old hobby horse of his, the Sino-sponsored Guangdong Corporation float back in 1993.
"Whatever happened to Guangdong?" Mayne asked.
"I knew you were going to ask about that, " Li said and added that at the time the matter had been reported accurately to the market and that the media had twisted the facts.
"I think we should look forward, not backwards," he said and moved on to other business on the annual meeting's agenda.
Mayne also turned his attention to Sino chairman Bruce Mathieson, the gaming and hotel industry heavyweight.
Mayne said, "I've never been able to work out what Bruce, as a hotelier, brings to the board."
Li launched a spirited defence of Mathieson, who, incidentally, did not attend the meeting but was represented by his alternate director, Ross Blair-Holt.
Li told the meeting that Bruce Mathieson was "a person who came from the school of hard knocks" and that he "had gone through the university of life".
Li said Mathieson's assessment of whether an investment was worthwhile, was invaluable and that he was frequently consulted.
He added that since Sino was floated not one dollar had been paid to a non-executive director.
Meanwhile, Richard Li delivered an extremely bullish assessment of GoConnect, a recent float out of the Sino stable.
GoConnect is an Internet media outfit delivering online video commercials and provides free Internet access.
Floated at 35 cents, the scrip is now at 15 cents.
Li said he was very proud of the GoConnect capital raising: "It was against all the odds and we have succeeded."
Delivering Mathieson's chairman's address, Blair-Holt declared: "GoConnect is, without a doubt, the most exciting business that Sino Securities has been associated with in the last 14 years.
"As the parent company to GoConnect, Sino will continue to support GoConnect with its investment banking expertise.
"The successful listing of GoConnect on the ASX against a very negative capital market, is testimony to Sino's ability to deliver on its investment banking skills.
"However, as a parent, Sino will also expect its subsidiaries, including GoConnect, to deliver profitability, and the dividends to the parent in return for its support."
Meanwhile, Mayne told the meeting that he had paid $1.60 for his Sino shares and that they were now at $1.20.
Now there's something for the Honorable Jeffrey Gibb Kennett to laugh at!
(For those who have forgotten, Mayne - a one-time Kennett government staffer - fell out with the former premier in a fairly public fashion three years ago.)
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