Bumper bonuses for Scottish Power chiefs

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The Independent Online
The five top directors of Scottish Power, led by the chief executive, Ian Robinson, shared bonuses of pounds 320,000 last year, including special payments linkd to the successful pounds 1.1bn takeover of regional electricity company Manweb, it emerged yesterday.

They could be in line for further bonuses this year if the company's pounds 1.68bn takeover of Southern Water succeeds and produces the cost savings and other benefits forecast.

Scottish Power's report and accounts also show that it has also introduced a new long term incentive scheme to replace share options under which executive directors stand to receive up to 60 per cent of their base salaries in addition to regular annual bonuses.

Mr Robinson, who took over as chief executive from Ian Preston in March last year received total pay of pounds 385,082 - a 44 per cent increase in the amount paid for the job in the previous year. Included in Mr Robinson's pay was a pounds 112,400 performance bonus, of which pounds 42,000 related to "key achievements" including the Manweb acquisition. He also received a pounds 30,000 payment to cover the cost of relocating his home to Glasgow.

Ian Russell, the finance director received total bonuses of pounds 67,938, lifting his salary from pounds 234,015 to pounds 284,580 while Michael Kinski, the director responsible for implementing the Manweb merger, saw his pay increase from pounds 185,527 to pounds 230,414 with the aid of a pounds 53,313 bonus.

Mr Robinson also received 280,291 of share options two months after joining the company while Mr Kinski and another director Duncan Whyte, each cashed in 101,000 share options netting paper profits of pounds 90,000 and pounds 140,000 respectively.

Under the annual performance related bonus scheme, executive directors can earn a maximum of 40 per cent of their base salary, of which 25 per cent is determined by the company's financial perfomance and 15 per cent by the achievement of individual strategic objectives.

The long-term incentive plan will operate from this financial year and will result in payments being made in the form of free shares.