The chief executive of housebuilder Persimmon has said he will set up a charitable trust to donate to good causes after facing criticism over the size of his bonus.
Jeff Fairburn is expected to net over £100m from the firm’s incentive plan via a share option scheme.
The company’s chairman, Nicholas Wrigley, resigned in December amid anger from shareholders who branded the payouts “excessive”.
Jonathan Davie, the head of Persimmon’s remuneration committee, also stepped down.
As well as Mr Fairburn’s bonus, the scheme will see finance director Mike Killoran and managing director David Jenkinson bag significant awards.
“I recognise and profoundly regret that Persimmon’s strong performance over the last few years is being eclipsed by the controversy surrounding the 2012 LTIP (long-term incentive plan) award,” Mr Fairburn said on Wednesday.
“I am setting up a private Charitable Trust which I plan to use to benefit wider society over a sustained period of time by supporting, in a very meaningful way, my chosen charities.”
Mr Fairburn, who faced calls to give some of the money away at the time the payout was made public, said he had always intended to do so but had hoped to keep his plans private.
“Once it became apparent that our outperformance would lead to a very significant award for me, I made plans to use a substantial proportion of the total to support the charities that are particularly important to me and my family,” he said.
“But, in what might be considered to be an old-fashioned approach, I believed that this was a personal matter and that I would be able to do this privately.
“It’s now clear that this belief was misplaced and so I am making my plans public and recognise that I should have done so sooner.”
The share option scheme was set up in 2012 and is linked to the Persimmon share price and dividend payments.
As the firm’s share price value has more than doubled over the past five years – helped along by the government’s Help to Buy scheme, which launched in April 2013 – the value of the payouts has similarly ballooned.
At the time of his resignation Mr Wrigley, who oversaw the creation of the scheme, said he regretted that he had not included a cap on the amount that could be paid out and he was leaving the company “in recognition of this omission”.
Persimmon’s share price rose slightly following Mr Fairburn’s announcement, and is currently valued at £24.31.
(c) Sky News 2018: Persimmon boss sets up charitable trust after bonus criticism