Simon English: An affable gent, not ahero of the people

Outlook In a bad year, when he's really struggling, Michael McLintock rubs by on £2m a year. That's before long-term incentive plans, phantom share schemes and all the other wacky paraphernalia the corporate world employs to justify or obfuscate the pay of its top executives.

In 2010, the head of Prudential's fund management arm, M&G, got a rather tastier £5.4m, and no one should doubt that he was worth every last penny.

It's not as if fund management is some emperor's-new-clothes game that conspires to make the relatively straightforward seem complex in order to reward insiders. Not a bit of it. A direct transfer of wealth from customers to managers? Wash that mouth out.

If you scan the company annual report, you'll see that Mr McLintock also holds a fabulous number of Prudential shares. The numbers are confusing, at least to me, but the value of the shares easily tops £4m.

From this lofty perch it is Mr McLintock and his ilk on whom we are relying to lead this supposed backlash against executive pay.

Mr McLintock, an affable, clever, conservative gent, is about as likely to start an anti-corporate crusade as Jacob Rees Mogg.

M&G manages more than £200bn, mostly on behalf of the rest of us, and seems to do it reasonably well. But if you're looking for a flame-throwing, ass-kicking hero of the people, a Noam Chomsky of the City, Mr McLintock is manifestly not your man.

Surveying the pay deal of now sadly departed Aviva boss Andrew Moss, Mr McLintock must be inclined to wonder if the poor fellow needs a loan to make ends meet.

M&G is a successful business and Mr McLintock has proved to be very good at running it. But for the present revolt against executive pay to retain momentum, guys like him have to be annoyed at what guys like him get paid.

s.english@independent.co.uk

Comments