Lloyds chief reorganises board to ease pressure

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The Independent Online

Lloyds' chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio, who recently returned to work after taking two months off due to fatigue, has launched a major boardroom shake-up to take some of the pressure off his shoulders.

Mr Horta-Osorio, who was known for micro-managing the business before his health crisis, has cut the number of departments reporting directly to him to 10. Insiders said more managerial responsibility will now rest on his remaining divisional chiefs, giving him time to focus on strategy and longer-term planning.

As part of the shake-up, Truett Tate, the last of the old guard of Lloyds high-ups who worked for the previous chief executive Eric Daniels, is leaving. He was in charge of the wholesale division which handles banking for businesses. Meanwhile, two of Horta-Osorio's former colleagues at Santander UK will take bigger roles: Alison Brittain will head the retail business and Antonio Lorenzo will add asset finance to his strategy, wealth management and international briefs.

Mr Tate's departure completes a clear-out of the executive directors who worked for Mr Daniels. The other departures since March are Helen Weir, head of retail banking, Archie Kane, head of insurance, and Tim Tookey, finance director.

Lloyds is still negotiating with Mr Daniels about clawing back some of the £1.45m bonus he was awarded for 2010 on the grounds that the bank's disastrous merger with HBOS, which forced a £20bn taxpayer bailout, left it in a much worse state than it had been.

Mr Tate is expected to get a 12-month pay-off based on his basic salary, which was raised to £656,000 last year. In 2010 his pay and bonus package was £1.6m. Lloyds has yet to announce its bonus payouts for 2011, but is facing pressure in the wake of Stephen Hester of Royal Bank of Scotland's decision to turn down his £963,000 bonus for last year.

Lloyds, 41 per cent owned by the taxpayer, said the new structure was hammered out by Mr Horta-Osorio and the bank's chairman, Sir Win Bischoff.

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