Chief executive set for pounds 1m payoff

JOHN ROBINS, chief executive of Guardian Royal Exchange (left), could depart with a payoff of well over pounds 1m after saying at the weekend he wanted no part in a combined AXA/GRE insurance group.

Mr Robins, who until last summer was vociferously in favour of GRE remaining independent, is likely to receive two years' salary and benefits worth around pounds 550,000 a year. He was due to retire in February 2001.

According to last year's annual report from GRE, Mr Robins also held 144,350 shares last March, a holding now worth pounds 545,000, and an annual retirement income of pounds 132,809.

In 1997, he exercised share options, netting a further pounds 554,000.