Make property valuation improvements prior

The reorganization of Iraq’s state-run oil monopoly presents another challenge. Philip Carroll, a former president and chief executive of Shell Oil Co., the U.S. arm of Royal Dutch/Shell Group, has reportedly been asked to head Iraq’s oil industry during a postwar transition. The appointment of a foreigner to lead Iraq’s most vital industry is “a reality we cannot dictate at the moment,” said Dara Attar, a London-based consultant and one of 14 expatriate Iraqi oil specialists working with the U.S. State Department to restructure the industry.

The arrangement would only be reasonable if it lasted no longer than one year, he said. Some U.S. officials are eager to break up the industry and sell it off to Iraqis and even to foreigners, arguing that this would make it more efficient. Most analysts see the need for foreign investment, especially to help Iraq develop its new oil fields. AK Steel Corp. chairman and CEO Richard M. Wardrop Jr. received more than $7 million in cash compensation and restricted stock awards in 2002, plus options to buy 150,000 shares of stock. His compensation far outstripped his peers in the U.S. steel industry.

U.S. Steel Corp.’s CEO received $3.1 million plus 500,000 stock options in 2002. Nucor Corp.’s CEO was paid $816,230 plus 8,332 options. The CEO at Bethlehem Steel got $900,000 in cash. The combined pay for the CEOs at National Steel Corp. — one resigned and was replaced by the other — came to $560,306.

The generous compensation was awarded despite AK Steel’s reporting a net loss in 2002, partly due to a non-cash charge of $573 million to cover pension plan losses and adjustments. The fundamental things in a real estate valuation are the size and usefulness of the residence and the size and area of the area. Even excluding that charge, it lost money, although it did make an operating profit before interest expenses of $105 million. The bulk of Wardrop’s compensation was in cash. That was fortunate for him because the steelmaker’s stock price has declined steadily. It closed Friday at $3.74. The stock dropped about 40 percent during 2002.

Wardrop and other executives received the highest possible awards under its annual bonus plan for performance that “substantially exceeded performance targets for 2002.” Wardrop’s award was 200 percent of his base salary. Further, because the company’s operating profit per ton of steel (excluding unusual items such as the pension charge) exceeded that of its major competitors, Wardrop and other executives also got the maximum awards under a separate long-term bonus plan. Wardrop’s cut was 170 percent of his salary. Company spokesman Alan McCoy did not return calls for comment.