Grand Met execs get pounds 3m L-Tip

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The Independent Online
Grand Metropolitan, the international drinks and food group, yesterday awarded pounds 3.2m worth of shares to a group of six senior directors under a long-term bonus scheme (L-Tips).

George Bull, the chairman, received 114,955 shares worth pounds 561,000 based on yesterday's closing price.

The biggest number of bonus shares was awarded to Paul Walsh, the chief executive of Grand Met's US food business Pillbury, who received shares worth pounds 839,000. John Keenan, chief executive of its drinks division IDV, was awarded shares worth pounds 692,000.

The other recipients were John McGrath, chief executive (pounds 422,000), finance director Gerald Corbett (pounds 327,000) and group services director David Tagg (pounds 370,000).

They will not be released before January 2000 and, to qualify for the full allocation, Grand Met's total shareholder return must be in the top 20 of the FTSE 100 index.

Meanwhile, the executive pay watchdog Pirc criticised the "fruit machine effect" of recently introduced long-term bonus schemes, which claim to link share payouts to executives' performance but in reality "deliver arbitrary results".

In its response to consultation by the Hampel Committee on corporate governance, the successor to the Cadbury Committee headed by ICI chairman Sir Ronnie Hampel, Pirc argued investors had been baffled by a "blizzard of statistics" following the Greenbury code's call for business to publish more information about directors' pay.

The Pirc submission added: "There has been an explosion of detail declared on remuneration, but little direct impact from shareholders in linking pay to performance."