Jeff Fairburn, the chief executive of housebuilder Persimmon, has said he will use his controversial £100m bonus to set up a charitable trust.
Debate over Fairburn's bonus led to resignations by two of the company's board members last year, with chairman Nicholas Wrigley and Jonathan Davie, the head of its remuneration committee, stepping down after investors complained about its long-term incentive plan (LTIP), agreed five years ago.
In December City A.M. reported bosses at the company were in line to collect £126m in bonuses, after its share price doubled in the 18 months after the Brexit vote. In January, Persimmon posted bumper annual revenues of £3.42bn.
In a statement this morning, Fairburn said: “I recognise and profoundly regret that Persimmon’s strong performance over the last few years is being eclipsed by the controversy surrounding the 2012 LTIP award.
“Persimmon’s success as a business and the uncapped nature of the scheme has meant that the value of these awards has become very large.
"The introduction of the scheme pre-dates my appointment as chief executive and I would like to make it clear that I did not seek these levels of award nor do I consider it right to keep them entirely for myself.
"Once it became apparent that our outperformance would lead to a very significant award for me, I made plans to use a substantial proportion of the total to support the charities that are particularly important to me and my family.
"But, in what might be considered to be an old-fashioned approach, I believed that this was a personal matter and that I would be able to do this privately. It’s now clear that this belief was misplaced and so I am making my plans public and recognise that I should have done so sooner.
“I am setting up a private charitable trust which I plan to use to benefit wider society over a sustained period of time by supporting, in a very meaningful way, my chosen charities."