ALEX Snow, chief executive of investment manager Evolution Group, has slashed a generous award of share options allocated to him just days before sale talks became public.
Snow asked Evolution’s remuneration committee to reduce a gift of shares granted to him under its executive share incentive plan from 2m to just 1.29m after it swiftly concluded takeover talks with an offer from South African wealth group Investec.
Evolution gifted Snow the shares on 25 July as well as call rights over another 570,000 deferred shares in lieu of a £400,000 raise to his salary.
But Evolution confirmed a takeover approach just five days later on 3 August and in less than two months the board recommended Investec’s offer priced at more than £1 per share, moves that threw the awards sharply into focus.
The total 2.5m share award would be worth £2.6m at the offer price.
Evolution said Snow had “requested that the committee reduce the quantum of the awards” and cancel the deferred 570,000 share award in light of the firm’s impending change of control.
“The committee has agreed to this request and those awards will not now be granted,” the group said.
Snow still holds 4.17m shares through both the firm’s executive share incentive plan and 2010 joint share ownership plan, which would net him almost £4.2m from Evolution’s sale.
Investec’s takeover bid values Evolution at £233m and will be put to a shareholder vote in a meeting scheduled for the second half of 2010.
Snow will become executive chairman of Investec’s UK investment banking division and sit on the Investec bank and wealth boards.