pounds 100,000 bonus for Stock Exchange chief

David Hellier adds up what Michael Lawrence is earning
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MICHAEL LAWRENCE, the chief executive of the London Stock Exchange, received around pounds 422,000 in salary and other benefits last year, according to a draft of the Exchange's annual report. Mr Lawrence's package includes a pounds 100,000 bonus to reward him for targets reached during the year.

Mr Lawrence came to the Stock Exchange last year from being finance director at Prudential Corporation, where he would have almost certainly by now been earning a similar amount. Giles Vardey, markets development director at the Exchange since 1992, has also been paid a sizeable pounds 75,000 bonus, taking his overall package to around pounds 230,000, according to the draft report.

The final figures, which could be subject to change, will be published along with the annual report, which is due out in the next few weeks. The size of Mr Lawrence's bonus might attract criticism from within the Exchange, where around one third of the staff have received no salary increase in the past year. It may also be viewed critically by some member firms.

Last year there was uproar when it was revealed that the former chief executive, Peter Rawlins, received a final-year package of around pounds 350,000 even though he was widely seen to have slipped up on the implementation of Taurus, the aborted electronic share settlements system.

However, the Exchange and Mr Lawrence can boast some successes during the year. It has moved successfully to a new rolling settlement system for share transactions and awaits the opening of the Alternative Investment Market, a new market for smaller companies.

The Exchange has also been involved in a big consultation exercise with market participants over how to serve member firms in future.

Sir Michael Richardson, a former member of the Stock Exchange's remuneration committee, said that the chief executive's bonus would be set in advance and paid only if targets were reached. The bonus does not relate to financial performance, since the Exchange has a remit to break even over a period of years.