Directors' companies paid pounds 360,000 by pension group

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The Independent Online
INDEPENDENT Insurance and its pension scheme last year paid more than pounds 367,000 to companies connected with three of the insurer's directors, writes Paul Durman.

This was in addition to salary and pension payments, which last year totalled nearly pounds 1.1m for the Independent board. Michael Bright, Independent's chief executive, was paid pounds 382,000, including a pounds 109,000 pension contribution, an increase from pounds 333,000 in 1992.

The insurer's first accounts since it was listed last November showed it paid pounds 130,992 to Lambert Smith Hampton, a firm of property consultants where Mr Bright is a director. Both Mr Bright and Independent have shares in Lambert Smith.

Robert McCracken, an Independent director, said the insurer's business relationship with Lambert Smith began 'way before we had a shareholding'. He said Independent's expansion meant it was frequently in need of property advice.

Another pounds 129,000 was paid to Whitefoord and Foden, a firm of actuaries and pension administrators whose directors include Anne Clarke, wife of Alan Clarke, an Independent director. The firm advises Independent's pension scheme, which paid pounds 59,766 of the total fees.

Independent paid pounds 106,803 to Noble & Company, a merchant bank boutique headed by Sir Iain Noble, one of Independent's non-executive directors. The company provided advice on Independent's flotation.

Independent made a pre-tax profit of pounds 15.8m last year on net premium income of pounds 105.4m.