AAM’s directors see bonus payouts fall after difficult year

BOSSES at Aberdeen Asset Management saw their pay packages fall last year although the company’s six executive board members were still awarded an average of more than £2.25 million each.

Picture: TSPL

Total variable pay, made up of cash and long term deferred share bonuses, fell to £10.79m in the year to 30 September - down from £12.2m the previous year.

The fall came after a year in which the company posted flat profits and its tenth consecutive quarter of an outflow of funds as it battled emerging market headwinds.

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Chief executive and co-founder Martin Gilbert – the highest-paid board member – received a total pay package of £4.34m, down from the £4.76m he received the previous year. Gilbert was paid a £513,000 basic salary and £3.83m in bonuses and share incentives. His latest pay package was the lowest he had been awarded since 2011.

Hugo Young, who heads the group’s Asian business, was the second-highest paid executive picking up a total of £3.96m, down from £4.49m.

Chief investment officer Anne Richards received £1.49m in bonuses as part of a £1.91m package, down from £2.17m

Deputy chief executive Andrew Laing and finance director Bill Rattray each received £1.17m last year, down from £1.2m the previous year. Total executive director pay and benefits was £13.56m, down from the £14.88m the previous year.

The executive directors will see their basic salaries increase by 1.4 per cent from 1 January. That compares to an

average rate of salary increase awarded to all staff, other than directors, of 3.4 per cent.

Although diluted earnings per share were lower than targeted during the year and assets under management fell, the remuneration report pointed out that “despite difficult market conditions, strong cost control enabled a healthy operating margin and return on capital, while good cash conversion and robust financial discipline enabled the board to increase the dividend by 8.3 per cent”.

Chairman Roger Cornick was paid fees of £325,000, unchanged from last year.

AAM’s assets under management at the end of its financial year totalled £283.7 billion, down from £324.4bn in the year-ago period. Net equities’ outflows lifted from £13bn in 2014 to £16.4bn in the latest financial year. Annual pre-tax profits were £491.6 million against £490.3m.

The fund manager said outflows were exacerbated by a number of sovereign wealth funds cutting their market exposure in response to the low oil price.