Horta-Osorio swings axe to appoint allies

OUTGOING Lloyds executive Helen Weir could be paid more than £1.7m by the state-owned lender for at least a year after she walks out of the door.

The former retail director will exit the bank, as one of the first boardroom casualties of new chief executive António Horta-Osório’s strategic shake-up.

Although Weir will not get a golden parachute, she will still be paid by the bank for a year, or longer in gardening leave should she join a competitor.

Also exiting the executive board is insurance director Archie Kane, who will retire from the bank with a year’s pay packet of around £1.5m and a pension pot worth £6.8m.

The changes come less than two weeks into Horta-Osório’s tenure at the top of the bank and are part of his ongoing strategic review.

It leaves the Lloyds board with just two executive directors appointed by his predecessor Eric Daniels.

The former Santander UK chief could hire or fire a number of other senior staff for his operation, in a strategic review that will conclude in June.

One option open to him could be to reward colleagues who moved with him to Lloyds, including his former chief financial officer Antonio Lorenzo and his former head of risk Juan Colombás.

In what could be his first reward of many, Lorenzo was yesterday handed Weir’s responsibility for retail products and marketing.

Analysts say his initial step down from Santander to join Lloyds as head of its wealth and international division in January could indicate he is in line for further promotions.

Analyst at Exane BNP Paribas Ian Gordon said: “It just didn’t seem like an adequate role to induce him to leave Santander just to come to Lloyds. I would expect him to join the board.”