Rowland tucks into a monthly tab of pounds 60,000

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The Independent Online
The true running costs of Tiny Rowland, Lonrho's flamboyant former managing director, were published for the first time in the conglomerate's annual report yesterday. The company spelled out the proportion of his pounds 1.6m annual salary used for corporate entertainment.

In the five months before Mr Rowland was dramatically sacked as a director of the mining, hotels and trading group last March, he reportedly received pounds 272,763 in the form of "benefits in kind". Most of that near pounds 60,000- a-month expense account represented the cost of entertaining business contacts and was in addition to a pounds 522,920 salary.

In a detailed breakdown of salaries and other benefits, to comply with the new demands of the Greenbury Committee, all Lonrho's board is shown to have received some benefits in kind but the amounts pale into insignificance compared with Mr Rowland's allowance.

Dieter Bock, Mr Rowland's former joint chief executive, received pounds 15,000 in addition to a base salary of pounds 600,000 during the 12 months to September 1995. Other executive directors received benefits worth between pounds 8,000 and pounds 18,000 for the same period.

A note to the accounts pointedly revealed the composition of those perks: "Benefits in kind comprised mainly the provision of a motor car for the use of each director and the provision of private medical insurance and, in the case of Mr R W Rowland, the costs of entertaining overseas visitors."

Contacted at his country home yesterday Mr Rowland refused to give details of how he had run up the entertainment bills, but he hit out at the current management team that had published the details.

"They didn't even have the decency to show me the figures involved," he said, adding that he planned to write to Lonrho's shareholders shortly. His successor, Mr Bock, he claimed, had only spent 11 days in Africa since he joined the company: "His expenses in Africa plainly don't amount to much."

The bubbling row over Mr Rowland's use of company funds is the latest rift between the maverick multi-millionaire once denounced by Edward Heath as "the unacceptable face of capitalism" and the company he was unceremoniously removed from 10 months ago.

Money, and his use of it, was always a bone of contention between the extravagant Mr Bock, who claims he spent more than pounds 2m of his own money securing a political settlement in Mozambique, and the more parsimonious Mr Bock.

It is understood that when Mr Rowland was cut off from Lonrho, the company also removed other perks such as the executive jet he used to travel to the many countries in Lonrho's far-flung empire.

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