By: Vincent Low
Last week, news broke that Keppel Offshore & Marine was involved in a mega bribery case in Brazil. Some US$55 million were reported to have been paid by a Keppel agent to Brazilian govt officials in order for Keppel to secure deals in Brazil. These “improper payments” were made over a period from 2001 to 2014, and they were carried out with the knowledge or approval of former Keppel senior executives.
When Bloomberg broke the news last Aug, reporting that 5 of the Keppel senior executives, including then Keppel Offshore & Marine CEO Chow Yew Yuen, had been named in a Brazilian court as the people who had authorized the agent to pay bribes, Keppel quickly issued a public statement to deny the allegation.
Keppel stated on 3 Aug 2016: “Keppel strongly denies the allegations reportedly made that Keppel executives authorised Mr Skornicki (the agent) to pay bribes on its behalf. None of the individuals named in the article, including the current CEO of Keppel Offshore and Marine Mr Chow Yew Yuen, have ever authorised Mr Skornicki to make any payments as bribes.”
But in Oct, Keppel issued another statement saying that it had recognized that “certain transactions associated with Mr. Skornicki may be suspicious.” It added:
“Keppel has notified the authorities in the relevant jurisdictions of its intention to cooperate and work towards the resolution of the underlying issues arising from or in connection with the transactions
“Keppel reiterates its zero-tolerance stance against any form of illegal activity, including bribery and corruption, involving its employees or associates.”
Then five months later in March this year, Keppel said that its Offshore & Marine CEO Chow Yew Yuen would “retire” with effect from 31 March 2017.
CEO Chow Yew Yuen is a multi-millionaire
According to Keppel’s annual reports, Chow earned millions in remuneration in Keppel.
In 2014, he earned somewhere between $5.3 to $5.5 million:
The next year in 2015, he earned close to $5 million:
But last year (2016), after Keppel acknowledged that certain transactions associated with the Brazilian agent “may be suspicious” in Oct, Chow remuneration decreased to less than $2.5 million but nonetheless, still in the millions:
It certainly pays to be working as a senior executive in Keppel.