Smiths Group boss Bowman in pay u-turn

THE chief executive of technology firm Smiths Group has bowed to shareholder pressure and abandoned a controversial multi-million pound rewards scheme.

Philip Bowman has dropped the value-sharing plan, a complicated scheme that paid out in shares, after opposition from shareholders and the Association of British Insurers. He will instead be subject to a simpler long-term incentive plan, City A.M. understands, despite the fact 88 per cent of shareholders backed his pay arrangements at the last annual general meeting. Shareholders will vote on the new plan on 22 November.

Bowman, whose total pay package dropped eight per cent to £2.3m for the year to July, has previously come under scrutiny for his rewards. In 2008 he was apparently dubbed “first class Phil” because of his preference for travelling in first-class rail carriages.

Smiths, a sprawling group with divisions in medical and security technology, electronic transmission systems, fluid transmissions and mechanical seals, has been subject to rumours of a break-up since Bowman took the top job in 2007.

Earlier this year, however, it rejected a £2.45bn bid for its medical business from private equity house Apax.