casino mogul, $2M. salary + benefits - Thursday 12th of May 2005

Rest assured, Donald Trump won't be punching a time clock as head honcho of his casino empire when it emerges from bankruptcy Friday. Nor will he be flying coach.The real estate tycoon and celebrity CEO (estimated net worth $2.6 billion, according to Forbes magazine's list of the world's richest people) will be paid $2 million annually as chairman of the newly created Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc.The company will replace the soon-to-be-defunct Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc. as the post-bankruptcy corporate parent of the three Trump Atlantic City gaming halls and a riverboat casino in Gary, Ind.Trump's compensation and duties as chairman are spelled out in a 14-page services agreement made public last week in the company's voluminous Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings.

Contestants on Trump's hit reality TV show "The Apprentice" could only dream about these job requirements.According to the terms, Trump does not have any set hours and is obligated to make no more than six personal appearances a year to promote his casinos. The services agreement recognizes Trump's "diverse business interests" in not imposing a prescribed work schedule."Mr. Trump shall not be required to devote any fixed amount of time to the performance of his duties, but shall devote sufficient time to discharge his duties responsibly and in a professional manner and in the best interests of the company consistent with standards generally applicable to directors of public companies," the agreement says.

Company officials have defended the personal perks Trump will receive as part of the bankruptcy restructuring plan, saying they reflect his world-famous name and contributions to the business. Trump also asserted they are not extravagant."No, I don't think so. They're pretty routine," Trump said in an interview.The services agreement, dated May 12, is for an initial three-year term and includes a series of three-year extensions thereafter. Among other reasons, it may be terminated if Trump is convicted or pleads guilty to a felony, willfully engages in misconduct while carrying out his duties or breaches his contractural obligations.In addition to his $2 million annual base fee, Trump will be awarded bonuses at the discretion of the Trump Entertainment board of directors' compensation committee. He also will be reimbursed for travel and administrative expenses in connection with his duties. Moreover, when he flies commercially, it will not be in coach seating."For so long as he is serving as chairman of the board of directors of the company, Mr. Trump shall be entitled to fringe benefits and perquisites ... including, without limitation, first-class travel accommodations on all commercial carriers for travel related to the business of the company," the agreement says.Trump said he does not anticipate flying much on company business.

He said most of his travel will occur between his corporate offices in New York and Atlantic City."There's very little flying per se, other than coming down to Atlantic City," he said. "I'll either drive or take the company helicopter."Trump also has his private 727 jetliner, the one with a big "T" on the tail and "Trump" painted in gold letters on the fuselage.Trump, of course, also has his name embellished on his casinos. His moniker and likeness will continue as a huge part of the company's gaming operations. The services agreement states that Trump will participate from time to time in print, billboard, radio and television advertisements for the casinos.Trump will have the final say in approving those ads, the agreement notes in stilted language."Prior to the initial commercial release of any such advertisement in which Mr. Trump appears, the company shall obtain Mr. Trump's approval of the content of such advertisement (in its entirety), which approval shall be subject to Mr. Trump's reasonable discretion," it declares.

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