On the money with Gavin Hinks

gavin hinks, accountancy age

In fact, if you’re sharp, know how to run your department and the company’s
doing well, you could be in FD bonus heaven.

Here are some of the figures so far. Hanif Lani, BT’s finance chief, saw his
pay top £1m for the first time and his bonus rise to £333,000. That’s big money
to most of us, but the figure is really only middle of the table when it come to
FTSE 100 FDs.

Last week saw Ian Dyson, finance master at a rejuvenated Marks &
Spencer, walk away with a touch over half a million as a bonus. That’s a new
home on the Riviera and just about enough to employ 20 nurses in the NHS.

OK, that was a low blow. Let’s move on. Dyson’s bonus is relatively low
compared with other FDs – Naguib Kheraj, the former Barclays FD, for instance.
For some time now on the brink of departing, Kheraj still made – wait for it –
£1.75m just as a bonus last time around.

Yes, you read that figure right. That much cash could have just about paid
for the salaries of Philip Broadly at the Prudential, Mark Armour at Reed
Elsevier and Peter Sands at Standard Chartered.

Is it fair to compare all these pay packages? Probably not. You really have
to compare across sectors, and even then there are complications given turnover,
the nature of competition, current position and all that sort of thing.

The interesting thing about the three bonuses quoted here is that they are
significant rises on the previous year’s bonus.

Here’s why. Profit before tax at Barclays was up 35%, at M&S it rose 25%
and at BT it improved 15%. A company simply can’t achieve that kind of
double-digit growth without the help of a skilled and tough FD who knows not
only how to compile the accounts, but also how to add value to the business.

Gavin Hinks is editor of Accountancy Age

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