The Business Matrix: Wednesday 9 March 2011

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The Independent Online

Crozier paid £1.6m for eight months

ITV is paying Adam Crozier more than £1.6m for his first eight months as chief executive after profits trebled at the broadcaster. The annual report reveals a salary of £532,000, a £334,000 golden hello, plus bonuses of £757,000 in cash and deferred shares.

Pain joins KPMG’s regulation unit

Jon Pain, the former head of the Financial Services Authority’s supervision unit, is joining the audit and advisory firm KPMG to bolster its regulatory practice. Mr Pain was once tipped as a replacement for the City watchdog’s chief executive, Hector Sants.

Ford chiefs drive off with$100m

Alan Mulally and Bill Ford, the chief executive and chairman of the US motor giant Ford, have received share awards worth $56m (£35m) and $42m. The stock bonuses date back to the recession, when Ford shares traded near $1 apiece. They are now near $15.

Soros and Albright buystake in APR

Funds run by George Soros and former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright are buying a controlling stake in APR Energy, a power generation services firm, for $250m (£155m). APR dominates the market for temporary power generation services alongside Aggreko.

Icahn returns investors’ money

The billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn is returning outside investors’ capital, saying he has grown weary of managing outside money as markets are becoming more unpredictable. Wealthy investors have $1.75bn (£1.1bn) in the $7bn Icahn Capital hedge fund.

Aegon UK places its faith in Grace

Otto Thoresen the chief executive of Aegon UK, is to join the Association of British Insurers as its new director general. He will be replaced at Aegon UK by Adrian Grace when Mr Thoresen takes up his new role at the British insurance lobby on the 4 April.

Pension schemes shut at record rate

Final-salary pension schemes closed their doors to existing members at a record rate during 2010, according to the National Association of Pension Funds. About 17 per cent of companies have closed final-salary schemes to existing, as well as new, members, up from 7 per cent in 2009 and 3 per cent in 2008. A further 33 per cent of companies are planning to make changes such as cutting the benefits they offer.

Omega shares dive on profit warning

Shares in Omega Insurance fell by more than 17 per cent after the property and casualty insurer swung to a wider-than-expected full-year loss and warned that a challenging interest-rate environment will likely affect short-term profitability. The Lloyd’s of London insurer said earthquakes in Chile and New Zealand, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the Queensland floods in Australia cost the company $65m (£47m).

Galleon insider trading trial begins

The criminal trial of Raj Rajaratnam, the founder of the Galleon hedge fund and the central figure in the biggest US insider trading case on record, began yesterday with the judge questioning potential jurors about impartiality. Top Goldman executives, including its chief executive Lloyd Blankfein and finance director David Viniar, were also named on a list of potential witnesses.

Shares in Pace plunge 20%

Shares in Pace plunged 20 per cent yesterday after the world's biggest maker of set-top boxes said a US customer was delaying a big order to 2012, reducing its 2011 sales growth. The setback overshadowed strong underlying profit growth and an upbeat longer-term outlook. The Yorkshire-based company said its profits nudged up 1.7 per cent to £71.1m.

Spanish airports to strike this spring

Unions have called 22 days of strikes in Spanish airports over government privatisation plans, raising the spectre of travel disruption during the busy spring and summer season. Spain hopes to get up to €30bn (£26m) from the part-privatisation of the airport operator in an attempt to cut the national debt.

SSE scales back plans for gas plant

Scottish and Southern Energy is to halve the capacity of its proposed gas-fired power plant at Abernedd in Wales and delay the start-up by two years, due to challenging market conditions. The proposed power plant, which received government consent two weeks ago, will have a capacity of 450MW instead of 870MW.

London Midland rail staff in ballot

Rail unions have warned of a ballot for industrial action among staff at London Midland in a row over jobs and ticket office closures. The Rail, Maritime and Transport union said that consultation over plans to cut more than 100 jobs, reduce opening hours at 86 ticket offices and close nine others was “flawed”.

First London Array foundation laid

The first of 177 foundations for the world’s biggest offshore windfarm has been installed at the London Array site in the Thames Estuary. The 268-tonne steel monopole – weighing as much as 35 double decker buses – was driven more than 20 metres into the seabed. It is topped with the “transition piece” that will support the wind turbine.