Aritzia founder Brian Hill moves steadily closer to becoming a billionaire, based on his shareholdings

The Vancouver clothing retailer's stock is up 40 percent since the start of the year

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      The founder, chairman, and CEO of one of Vancouver's most successful clothing companies doesn't often step into the spotlight.

      Brian Hill is a descendant of the founder of the Hill's of Kerrisdale clothing shop.

      Since 2016, he's only collected a $1 annual salary and $1 annual bonus as the boss of Aritzia Inc., which was launched in 1984.

      He also forfeited stock options in recent years to help the company thrive.

      Yet Hill is still on the verge of becoming a billionaire, based on the value of his shares. They've rocketed up 40 percent from the start of this year.

      As of this writing, the shares are trading at $35.10.

      Hill owned 24,207,349 multiple voting shares and 770,700 subordinate voting shares, according to Aritzia's most recent management information circular issued on May 20.

      "Each multiple voting share represents ten votes on all matters upon which holders of shares in the capital of Aritzia are entitled to vote and is convertible into one subordinate voting share at any time at the sole option of the holder," Aritzia said in a June 1 news release, which updated Hill's multiple voting and subordinate voting share ownership following the closing of a secondary offering.

      Hill no longer holds any subordinate voting shares directly or indirectly and owns 21,937,340 multiple voting shares, which are valued at $771.1 million.

      When Aritzia stock recently hit its 52-week high of $38.97, those shares were worth $854.9 million.

      The management information circular states that he also has more than $2.5 million in the value of unexercised stock options.

      As a result of a review by the consulting firm Mercer, Hill has also resumed collecting compensation as the CEO.

      Equity-based compensation awards will give him an "annual compensation target" of $3 million. This includes 50 percent in stock options that vest over five years and 50 percent in performance share units with targets directly tied to Aritzia's long-term performance, according to the information circular.

      "This approach aligns with the next phase of our company’s growth," the document states. "It also ensures further alignment of Mr. Hill’s interests to those of our shareholders, while being designed to reward substantial and sustained stock price growth." 

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