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26 September 1997

Executives part on good terms
Top company directors are still leaving firms with six- and seven-figure golden handshakes, despite evidence that average pay-offs are declining slightly, according to a survey in Labour Research magazine.

In the past year, over 100 executives took away leaving presents of ?100,000 or more, two of them receiving over ?1 million.

Heading the league table is Charles Mackay, who last year resigned from car distributor Inchcape with ?760,000 in compensation for loss of office plus ?603,000 paid into his pension fund, making a total of ?1,363,000. He has since found a part-time deputy chair's job at hotels group Thistle.

The second highest golden goodbye was given to George Greener, who resigned by mutual consent as chair of the Allied Dunbar and Eagle Star insurance arm of BAT Industries. He received a total golden handshake of ?1,292,719 - ?706,250 as a leaving gift and ?585,469 in pension contributions. Three months later Greener turned up as the chief executive of Typhoo Tea group Hillsdown Holdings, where he received ?274,000 for six months' work.

However, there are indications of a slight moderation in golden handshakes. Among all those directors receiving pay-offs of ?100,000 or more, the average package was ?327,771. This was down from ?346,386 last year, ?398,289 in 1995 and ?406,122 in 1994.

One of the reasons for this decline is that some companies have accepted at least one of the Greenbury recommendations on boardroom remuneration. This is that firms should move from three-year rolling contracts for directors to two-year fixed contracts at the most, and eventually to one-year deals.

Notes to editors

A full list of the 103 directors receiving golden handshakes of ?100,000 or more is published in the October 1997 issue of Labour Research magazine.
The Labour Research Department is an independent trade union and labour movement organisation founded 86 years ago. More than 2,000 trade union organisations, including 54 national unions, representing 99% of total TUC membership are affiliated. The price of a single copy of Labour Research is ?2.85 including postage.
For more details contact Neal Moister on 0171 902 9818.

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