Fleming trio given pounds 1m pay packages

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The Independent Online
TWO directors of the merchant bank Robert Fleming earned pounds 1.5m each last year, increases of more than 50 per cent, and another passed the pounds 1m mark, the bank said in its annual report yesterday.

The bank, whose most senior manager is John Manser, group chief executive, refused to name the top trio but said their combined pay rose from pounds 2.5m to pounds 4m last year. The chairman, Robin Fleming, raised his pay by only pounds 2,000 to pounds 147,000.

When Fleming disclosed doubled profits of pounds 210m earlier this week Mr Manser mounted a robust defence of high pay for high performance. He said bonuses were paid to all staff in proportion to their contribution to the company and it entirely related to individual effort.

Yesterday Bill Harrison, chief executive of corporate finance, said: 'As a group we are aiming to reward high-performance individuals.' The top payments went to 'senior people who have performed particularly well'.

The report reveals that performance-related pay for the board doubled to pounds 8.2m while directors' basic salaries rose from pounds 3.7m to just over pounds 4m.

The company put pounds 5m in a benefit trust which represents deferred bonuses for directors and employees. And it said staff costs rose pounds 41m to pounds 155m.

The annual report excludes bonuses paid at the highly profitable Far Eastern affiliate, Jardine Fleming, though this is run as an integral part of the worldwide banking group.