Top FDs have £500m in shares

A study from
Heartwood Wealth
shows that the top ten earners provided the lion’s share of the
investment, contributing to the equivalent of £202m, or 42% of the total figure.

Currently, 26% of assets are held as shares in FDs’ own names, with 65% in
long term incentive plans. The remaining 9% are held as shares under option,
according to figures collated by the investment, tax and retirement planning
solutions provider.

Despite FDs wanting to offset the risk on concentrated portfolios by
diversifying, Heartwood’s chief executive David Lough said that many fear
sending out the wrong sort of message to the market and to their colleagues:
‘Even if they did want to sell shares, restrictions around closed periods and
mergers or acquisitions mean that it can be difficult to select the most
appropriate time.

‘Most FDs wait until they retire or leave to liquidate these assets but may
face a larger tax bill as a result. Today’s FTSE 100 finance chiefs have become
much wealthier individuals than their predecessors a decade ago, but whilst they
remain in their positions, a lot of their assets remain in practice illiquid.’

Lough said that share options and LTIP packages of this scale played a key
role in motivating FDs – but achieving a well-diversified investment portfolio
that would ensure they remained financially secure after quitting the boardroom
– was also crucial to finance bosses.

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