Two City high-fliers take pay cuts for Lloyds and RBS sell-off roles


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The Independent Online

Two of the City's best-known dealmakers are to oversee the sale of its stakes in Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Credit Suisse's UK chief executive James Leigh-Pemberton will join UKFI, the body which holds the taxpayer's bank stakes, in October and become executive chairman at the start of next year.

He will be joined by BoA Merrill Lynch's UK head of equity capital markets, Oliver Holbourn, in a new role as head of capital markets at UKFI.  Both are set to take massive pay cuts, dropping from their million pound-plus investment banker levels to £180,000 and £170,000 basic pay, respectively.

Leigh-Pemberton, the son of former Bank of England Governor Robin Leigh-Pemberton and a veteran of 20 years at Credit Suisse, said he would not be taking any kind of bonus or pension contribution.  UKFI chairman Robin Budenberg, who led the search for a new chief executive when Jim O'Neill said he was leaving last April, said Leigh Pemberton was "literally, uniquely well qualified for this role".

Leigh-Pemberton, 56, has been involved in deals and fundraisings worth billions of pounds, ranging from the £2 billion flotation of Carphone Warehouse in 2000, through the privatisation of steelmaker Corus and its takeover by Tata, to the current £6 billion rights issue by Barclays.  The start of the sale of the 39 per cent stake in Lloyds is likely to start before Leigh-Pemberton joins, with a 10 per cent stake expected to be placed with institutions in weeks if not days.

Over the next four or five years his task will be to sell the rest of that and the 81 per cent stake in RBS - which together cost the taxpayer £45 billion - at a profit.

Commenting on Leigh-Pemberton's move, Budenberg said: "There are very few things which James and I are qualified to do which have a broader value."