Sherlock's second big payoff

BY RUSSELL HOTTEN

and MARY FAGAN

Peter Sherlock, whose short reign as chief executive of the NFC transport group ended after a power struggle, is to receive £585,000 in compensation. It is the second time in less than three years that Mr Sherlock has received a large pay-off after unexpectedly departing from a company.

The NFC settlement is substantially less than the £1.3m he was claiming from the company, which is thought to have first offered £100,000. NFC said the payment "represents the compensation he was entitled to under his contract". As well as payment for loss of office, the money covers Mr Sherlock's costs and pension entitlement.

He was thought to be earning a minimum of £250,000 a year which, under his three-year rolling contract would have entitled him to at least £750,000. Less than three years ago Mr Sherlock quit the board of Bass, the brewing group, after six months in charge of the company's Holiday Inns business. He received £395,000 compensation.

NFC's pay-off is not as high as some recent compensation packages - Peter Davis's £2m from Reed-Elsevier or Robert Montague's £1.4m from Tiphook - but it is still likely to cause disquiet. NFC has a large and vocal group of employee investors who have taken pride in its shareholder democracy and equal treatment for staff.

Mr Sherlock was recruited as the "new broom" that would overhaul the company, but resigned last August after only 18 months following several management disagreements over strategy. His thrusting management style was at odds with the paternalistic and hierarchical culture at NFC. He apparently did not get on with James Watson, the chairman, and director Robbie Burns. Mr Burns had resigned but decided to stay on after Mr Sherlock's departure.

Despite NFC's large market share the group came under pressure from smaller players and Mr Sherlock's strategy appeared to do little to improve profitability. He is still a director of Allied Leisure, and is involved in a number of private companies.

Meanwhile, charities will be waiting for news later this week of what Sir Iain Vallance, chairman and chief executive of BT, plans to do with any bonus he may receive for last year. Sir Iain may be unwilling to comment on the issue at the BT results meeting on Thursday, but has given away substantial sums over the past few years. In 1991 - long before the "fat- cats" debate - he gave some £150,000 to charity, with one of the main beneficiaries thought to have been the Princess Royal Trust for Carers, of which he is chairman. The bonus dropped to £90,000 in each of the subsequent two years before jumping to £185,000 in 1994 when BT made a pre-tax profit of £2.7bn.

Sir Iain insists that what he does with his money is his business. But it is believed that a large part of the total was given away in each of those years. Sir Iain's basic salary has remained constant since 1992 at about £465,000.

BT is expected to announce pre-tax profits of about £2.7bn for the year to 31 March 1995, after taking a charge for redundancy of at least £750m to £800m. The company made more than 16,000 voluntary redundancies during the year and is expected to announce cuts of about 12,000 over the next 18 months.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Guru Careers: Management Accountant

£27 - 35k + Bonus + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Management Accountant is needed ...

Guru Careers: Project Manager / Business Analyst

£40-50k + Benefits.: Guru Careers: A Project Manager / Business Analyst is nee...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers