- Tomorrow’s payday will hand 130 senior managers an average of £2.3m each
- The handout is the second and largest part of an incentive scheme
- The identities of the soon-to-be multi-millionaires have not been revealed
Row: Chief executive Jeff Fairburn
A group of 130 bosses at housebuilder Persimmon are set to share a £300 million bonus bonanza in the biggest windfall in the history of the industry.
The unprecedented payout is part of a notorious bonus scheme that is delivering £75 million to the chief executive Jeff Fairburn.
Tomorrow’s payday will hand 130 senior managers an average of £2.3 million each. The handout is the second and largest part of an incentive scheme, that will take the total for managers below the board level to £500 million.
They previously shared in a £200 million payout over Christmas which was overshadowed by the storm over Fairburn’s £50 million.
The identities of the soon-to-be multi-millionaires have not been revealed. However, the jackpot is set to spark a fresh controversy over sexism.
Those in line for the lion’s share, apart from Fairburn and two other board-level executives, are thought to be the managing directors of the firm’s 31 regional offices – all men. Persimmon admits in its gender pay gap report that male managers occupy most of its senior roles.
In the report on Persimmon Homes, its main business, it says more men than women historically have joined the building industry at the bottom of the ladder and risen up the ranks, so it therefore has ‘a larger proportion of males in higher paid senior leadership roles’.
Persimmon admits in its gender pay gap report that male managers occupy most of its senior roles
The windfall is triggered by a dividend being paid tomorrow – three years earlier than planned when the scheme was launched in 2012 – because Persimmon has beaten its performance targets thanks to buoyancy in the housing market.
This is partly due to the state-funded Help to Buy scheme launched in 2013.
The huge payouts have also led to concerns there will be an exodus of senior managers once they cash in their once-in-a-lifetime bonuses, which in many cases are enough for them never to work again.
Amid mounting pressure after The Mail on Sunday’s revelations of the huge Christmas bonuses, Fairburn and finance director Mike Killoran opted to take half of the second part of the bonus and defer taking half of that for three years.
Fairburn will still be able to cash in around £18 million tomorrow based on the current share price, and Killoran £12.6 million, though these sums are not pure profit as some costs will be deducted.
ShareAction, the responsible investment group, contrasted the huge bonuses with the pay of its lowly paid builders, many of whom do not receive the ‘real living wage’ of £8.75 an hour or £10.20 an hour in London.
A spokesman said: ‘We calculate that Fairburn’s £75 million bonus is enough to pay 4,100 Persimmon staff the real living wage.’