Thursday 22 July 2021 12:13 pm

Archie Norman granted £1.75m 'singing-on' fee to join board of Bridgepoint

Chairman of M&S Archie Norman has been offered a rare signing-on fee of £1.75m to join the board of newly floated buyout group Bridgepoint as the senior independent director.

As Bridgepoint took the unusual step of listing on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday, Norman’s onboarding fee was buried in registration documents detailing the terms of the IPO.

Norman’s hefty “initial fee” was awarded as an extra on top of the annual £200,000 renumeration for his new part-time role at the private equity firm, in a move that may raise eyebrows among corporate governance experts, owing to its sheer scale.

Selling shareholders at Bridgepoint received an average payout of £2.9bn amid booming demand for the company’s stocks on listing. Investment group Dyal Capital was a big winner from the deal, cashing in shares worth £477m, according to the prospectus.

Shares in the buyout groups swelled by up to 29 per cent on the first day of trading on Wednesday, as the IPO capitalised on booming demand for private equity investments.

Bridgepoint, which has around €27.4bn of assets under management across equity and debt funds, had set a share price of 350 pence per share in its flotation announcement, valuing the firm at £2.9bn.

But by 9am on Wednesday, shares were trading at 440 pence – up almost 26 per cent on the day.

The buyout group’s prospectus also revealed three other new directors who each received a signing-on fee of £500,000 before tax: Tim Score, chairman of British Land; Carolyn McCall, chief executive of ITV; and Angeles Garcia-Poveda, a partner at executive headhunter Spencer Stuart.