On March 12, 2015 1:53 pm
Access Midstream Partners LP paid three executives $93.6 million in cash — more than any management team in the Russell 3000 — after pipeline operator Williams Cos. Inc. (NYSE: WMB) bought control of the partnership last year, Bloomberg said March 10.
Mike Stice, who retired as CEO of Access Midstream in December, received $46.4 million, according to a Feb. 25 regulatory filing. Retired COO Robert Purgason received $31.1 million, and David Shiels, former CFO, received $16 million.
Williams, the fourth-largest pipeline operator in the U.S., bought control of natural gas transporter Access Midstream for $6 billion in 2014. That helped the partnership’s former executives cash out on a surge in domestic production of, and demand for, natural gas that Williams has called an “ongoing energy infrastructure supercycle.”
MLPs, which was Access Midstream’s structure, “are unique animals,” Kevin Kuschel, a director at Houston-based executive-compensation consultant Longnecker & Associates, said in a phone interview. “They aren’t subject to Say-on-Pay. They’ve got a little bit more free rein about how they structure their compensation programs.”