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From bust to boom: boss in the money

Fund manager Gilbert pockets £6m in bonus windfall

Martin GilbertScottish fund manager Martin Gilbert has made more than £6 million from selling shares in the company he founded that almost went bust a decade ago.

The chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management sold 1.4 million shares awarded under a company bonus scheme for 2008 to 2010. He retains more than 5 million shares worth almost £24m.

Mr Gilbert helped launch the business in 1983 but it almost went broke in 2002 when it became embroiled in a crisis over split capital trusts which wiped out the savings of thousands of investors. The scandal cost Aberdeen £194m in compensation and Gilbert repaid his £650,000 bonus.

He also survived a significant shareholder rebellion over his pay and bonus for 2010, with almost a third of investors refusing to back his rewards.

Questions have been raised about how appropriate it is for fund managers to be paid such large sums while challenging companies in whom they invest for paying their own executives big bonuses.

Other Aberdeen directors pocketed multi-million bonuses. Hugh Young, group head of equities, who also runs its Asian business, sold shares worth just under £4.3m and chief investment officer Anne Richards more than £1.7m. Finance director Bill Rattray sold £1.1m worth of shares and deputy chief executive Andrew Laing more than £800,000.

Since the split cap crisis Gilbert has built the company into one of the biggest fund managers in Britain. It acquired Scottish Widows Investment Partnership for £606m this year.

 

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