Jupiter manager cost pounds 1.8m

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JUPITER TYNDALL, the fund manager, spent pounds 1.8m when it recruited Leonard Licht, the star pension fund manager, last year from Mercury Asset Management, writes Paul Durman.

Mr Licht was known to have received a signing-on fee of pounds 1m but his recruitment also incurred additional tax, National Insurance and legal costs. Mr Licht also enjoys a very generous share option scheme, linked to the amount of new business he brings in.

Although he brought in pounds 100m of funds in his first week with the firm, subsequent results have been 'disappointing', according to John Duffield, Jupiter Tyndall's chairman. Mr Duffield said Jupiter Tyndall was on 'quite a few short lists'.

The company has become the latest to tackle its advance corporation tax problem by paying its shareholders an enhanced scrip dividend. It is offering shares worth 60 per cent more than the final cash dividend of 4.5p a share. James Capel, its stockbroker, is underwriting the scrip dividend at 6.84p, a 5 per cent discount to the share value of 7.2p.

The group's pre-tax profits for 1992 jumped from pounds 1.2m to pounds 5.7m, reflecting the 1991 acquisition of Tyndall. Mr Duffield warned profits would grow little this year, while a rise in tax could push earnings lower.

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