Martin Gilbert picks up £22m over past five years

MARTIN Gilbert, Scotland’s best paid businessman, has seen his total package in the past five years top £22 million after another bumper haul for bosses at Aberdeen Asset Management.

Martin Gilbert saw his pay package drop last year from £5.1m to £4.8m. Picture: Neil Hanna
Martin Gilbert saw his pay package drop last year from £5.1m to £4.8m. Picture: Neil Hanna
Martin Gilbert saw his pay package drop last year from £5.1m to £4.8m. Picture: Neil Hanna

Gilbert, who co-founded the fund manager in 1983, received a £4.8m pay and bonus package in the year to 30 September when the firm completed a £606m deal to acquire Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (Swip), AAM’s annual report yesterday revealed. But the figure was down on the £5.1m record payout he received the previous year.

Although Gilbert’s relatively modest basic salary as a FTSE 100 chief executive edged up by £5,000 to £505,000, his bonus fell to £4.25m compared to £4.6m the previous year, the report showed.

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Hugo Young, who heads up the group’s Asian operations, received a £4m bonus as part of a £4.5m package, compared to £5.1m the previous year.

Anne Richards, chief investment officer, received a £1.75m bonus as part of a total package of £2.17m compared to £2.3m last year.

In total, executive directors received £12.2m in bonuses, down from £13.4m, as part of total pay packages of £14.9m, down from £16.1m.

Gilbert will receive a 1.8 per cent pay rise from 1 January with other executive directors receiving between 1.4 per cent and 1.8 per cent. The average pay increase for staff across the company is 4.3 per cent.

In his report to shareholders, Simon Troughton, chairman of the remuneration committee, said 2014 had been a transformational year for the group and that the boardroom pay packages reflected its achievements.

He highlighted the “challenge of weaker investor sentiment towards some of the group’s key markets being mitigated by the progress made on integrating the Swip business”.

Troughton added: “Aberdeen has delivered solid financial results, has achieved greater diversification in its assets under management and new business opportunities and increased dividend payments to shareholders, and the remuneration of the executive directors reflects this performance.”

Bonuses paid to directors are 75 per cent in Aberdeen shares and are payable over a five-year period.

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Earlier this month, it was revealed that Gilbert had pocketed almost £6.2m after selling a

tranche of shares in the fund manager. The sale, just after the group unveiled a rise in annual profits, came as part of a wider disposal of bonus shares by Aberdeen executives totalling more than £14m.

Gilbert sold more than 1.3 million shares at 461.1p each – close to the highest level they have reached over the past six months – representing part of his annual bonuses for 2008, 2009 and 2010. He still holds shares worth about £24m.

The company recently reported a 2 per cent rise in underlying pre-tax profits to £490m for the year to 30 September.

Statutory profit before tax fell from £390.3m previously to £354.6m, partly because of the purchase of Swip from Lloyds in March.

Assets under management leapt by 62 per cent to £324.4bn following the acquisition of the Swip funds business.