pounds 462,000 pay-off for Hanson's son angers shareholders

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The Independent Online
ROBERT HANSON, already one of the most eligible bachelors in Britain, has received a controversial pounds 462,000 pay-off from the firm founded by his father Lord Hanson. Including bonuses, salary and the compensation pay out, Robert received a total of pounds 825,000.

The pay-out has incurred the wrath of shareholders. Several large institutions are unhappy that he is being compensated for the 18 months left on his contract, even though he left his position of corporate development director of his own accord to pursue interests at the Hanson family's private transport business.

The package given to Robert Hanson, who has been seen with a string of beautiful women on his arm over the last few years, was much higher than originally reported. It included 18 months' worth of benefits and bonuses as well as his basic salary of pounds 220,000 a year.

Lord Hanson also made more than pounds 900,000 from the group in the 15 months to December, including a pounds 317,000 profit on the sale of share options. The figures were disclosed in the company's annual report.

Robert followed in his father's footsteps by announcing his resignation from Hanson last year, ending the family's association with the group. Their exit came in the wake of the break-up of the pounds 10bn Hanson empire. The Hanson group has been turned from a sprawling conglomerate to a pure building materials group.

Hanson is now chaired by Christopher Collins, who is married to the niece of Lord Hanson. Mr Collins endorsed to the payments to Robert Hanson at the time of his departure.

The company claims that Robert Hanson was entitled to the pay-off as his role was materially changed after the company was demerged from the Energy Group. Hanson said yesterday the group no longer needed a corporate development director as it was now concentrating on finding smaller, bolt- on acquisitions.

Robert Hanson has not been replaced and his job is now being performed by Andrew Dougal, the group's chief executive.

The money will help Robert Hanson fund his hectic social life. Never far from the gossip columns, Robert Hanson has been romantically linked with Sophie Anderton, who is famous for modelling lingerie and "It-girls" such as Tara Palmer-Tomkinson and Normandy Keith.

Hanson's annual report published yesterday also revealed that Brian Hellings, a former finance director, received compensation of pounds 430,000 last year. Mr Hellings was appointed to help out the finance department after stepping down as a director of the group. However his role was also downgraded after the demerger.

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