Board changes at housebuilder

Persimmon chairman quits amid pay row

PersimmonHousebuilder Persimmon’s chairman Nicholas Wrigley is to step down amid a row over multi-million pound payouts to the board.

Jonathan Davie, senior independent director and chairman of the remuneration committee, resigned from the board yesterday.  

Their departures follow investor fury over a long term incentive plan introduced in 2012, which could see the management share £600m depending on profit and housebuilding targets. Chief executive Jeff Fairburn is in line for £100m.

The company said this morning that the LTIP has been a significant factor in the company’s “outstanding performance” over this period, “led by a strong and talented executive team”.

It added: “Nevertheless, Nicholas and Jonathan recognise that the 2012 LTIP could have included a cap.  In recognition of this omission, they have therefore tendered their resignations.”

 Mr Wrigley will remain as chairman while the board seeks a successor. 

Nigel Mills has been appointed senior independent director with immediate effect and will lead the process of appointing a new chairman.  Marion Sears has been appointed chairman of the remuneration committee, also from 14 December.  

Since 2012, when the Capital Return Plan Strategy was launched and the 2012 LTIP was approved by shareholders, the company has made substantial cash returns to shareholders at the same time as increasing the size of the business and delivering significant shareholder value.  

Over the period Persimmon has delivered 65% more homes, invested £2.9bn in new land, returned 485p per share (£1.5bn) in cash and increased the proposed capital return by 49% to 925p per share, c. £2.85 bn. 

The board will issue a full year trading update on 9 January.


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