x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

'Yucky Yurko' offers expenses lesson

After Allen Yurko's mismanagement of the UK engineering company Invensys sent the share price plummeting from 400p to 70p, shareholders likely hoped they had seen the last of him in January 2002, when he disappeared into the rarefied world of private equity.

After Allen Yurko's ill-fated tenure as chief executive of the UK engineering company Invensys when the share price plummeted from 400p to 70p, shareholders must have hoped they had seen the last of him in January 2002, when he disappeared into the rarefied world of private equity.

But almost 12 years later, he's back - and now asking for £50,000 (Dh288,384) to help cover his costs of relocating to the United States this month.

His original contract did not include an expiry date on a right to a relocation package.

While Invensys said in its most recent annual report that it was "considering its response to this claim in light of the time elapsed", Mr Yurko's request demonstrates how clear companies must be in setting out their expense policies.

In the UAE this is especially important, said Adam Gray, the founder of Muaqat, a Dubai-based job and career advice provider.

"Employees new to the region often have unrealistic expectations as to what can be reimbursed," Mr Gray said.

"They are advised to closely read both their offer letter and employment contract so that they don't get caught out."

He cited the example of a UK contractor hired to do a temporary job in Dubai who arrived at the airport with 100 kilograms of excess luggage. He called his new employer to say that he would not board the plane unless they agreed to reimburse the excess baggage fee, which was more than £1,000.

Mr Gray also advises employees to exercise a degree of common sense when filing expenses. "Failing to do so can negatively affect your reputation within a company," he warns.

He offers the example of the employee who put in a claim for his dry cleaning costs.

His claim was not only refused but it earned him the reputation of being cheap - especially given that he was earning Dh60,000 per month.

"It's such a small thing that to make a fuss about it just rubs people up the wrong way, so that when you actually need something important you find it that much more difficult," Mr Gray said.

The former Invensys boss's latest antics may mean it is a while yet before he can shrug off the moniker of Allen "Yucky" Yurko.

 

lgutcher@thenational.ae