Options pay well for head of bonus inquiry

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The Independent Online
The head of the CBI study group on excessive bonuses for top executives earned £465,057 from the sale of share options last year, according to research by a trade-union financed body.

Seven members of the study group, headed by Sir Richard Greenbury, had earnings last year totalling £3.9m. The Labour Research Unit called it "a classic case of putting Dracula in charge of a blood bank".

The study group was set up at the request of the Prime Minister to answer Labour allegations of unfair executive bonuses. The release of the Labour group findings was timed to embarrass the CBI director general, Howard Davies, who gives evidence today to the Commons Employment Select Committee - also investigating directors' pay.

The research unit found that Sir Richard had a total income of £1.1m as chairman of Marks & Spencer. His basic salary of £629,588 was lifted by a £59,350 bonus, £2,015 in dividends and a further £465,057 in profit on share options taken up and sold during the year. Another member of the group, Sir Denys Henderson, chairman of ICI and Zeneca, earned £832,066 from the two companies, including a £106,000 bonus from ICI and £80,000 bonus from Zeneca.

The other five were Sir Iain Vallance, chairman of British Telecom, who received £652,853; Sir David Lees, chairman of GKN, £339,386; Sir Michael Angus, non-executive director of Whitbread, £155,485; David Simon, chief executive of British Petroleum, £634,076, including a bonus of £240,000; and George Metcalfe, chairman of Umeco, £124,683.

t Gordon Brown, the Shadow Chancellor, yesterday criticised a pay award likely to give Lord Alexander, chairman of National Westminster Bank, a performance-related bonus of £100,000 for 1994. Mr Brown said the bonus showed executives of privatised utilities were "not alone in granting themselves large pay increases".