David Lenigas of Fastjet (LSE: FJET) joins the 'thin cat' club.
The shares of Fastjet (LSE: FJET) kept steady at 3.5p during early London trade this morning after the AIM-traded business said its boss had set his own pay at just £1 a year.
David Lenigas, the executive chairman of the African airline, explained:
"I am passionate about the possibility of Fastjet's ability to change Africa's GDP growth profile. I have been doing business in Africa for a number of decades now and this is my personal way of contributing to changing life for the better in Africa."
Mr Lenigas' pay had been £52,000 a year.
However, Mr Lenigas is not exactly heading for the poor house, as he already receives £550,000 a year in his role as executive chairman of Lonhro.
Furthermore, other directorates last year allowed him to collect £252,000 from Leni Oil & Gas, £60,000 from Solo Oil, about £51,000 from Rare Earth Minerals and £8,000 from Stellar Resources.
Still, any director re-setting a salary to £1 does set the right shareholder tone in today's austere climate. Certainly the boards of Aviva, Barclays and WPP, which all suffered pay backlashes this year, may want to take a look at Mr Lenigas' gesture.
Those FTSE boards may also want to look at other role models among thin-cat leaders, which include Andrew Perloff of Panther Securities, Mike Ashley of Sports Direct and Dr Leonard Polonsky of Hansard, each of whom collect £1 or less as a basic salary.
Sadly, whether Mr Lenigas' new level of pay will help Fastjet investors make money is difficult to say. The company's first-half results showed losses of $15m from sales of $31m, while the firm's much-heralded low-cost flights have only been available for less than three weeks.
No doubt some Fastjet investors are hoping their company can become the 'easyJet of Africa'. easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou owns 5% of Fastjet and provides it with consultancy services.
easyJet sports a £3bn market cap. Fastjet, meanwhile, is valued at £64m.
Of course, whether Mr Lenigas' commendable salary and the prospects for low-cost airlines in Africa combine to make Fastjet a 'buy' remains up to you.
But if that £1 pay packet seems attractive, you may wish to consult this free Motley Fool report, which explains how smaller companies with great potential can deliver wealth-changing returns for ordinary investors. You never know, perhaps Fastjet could one day actually become the 'easyJet of Africa'...
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> Maynard does not own any share mentioned in this article.