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Persimmon boss’ £100m bonus sparks anger amid housing crisis

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

The chief executive of homebuilder Persimmon is set to pocket around £100m worth of shares, excluding the option price, in a performance related bonus, which has prompted anger amid the ongoing housing crisis.

Jeff Fairburn is expected to bank the first tranche of shares worth tens of millions of pounds next month in a long-term incentive plan (LTIP).

Persimmon’s bonus scheme was approved in 2012 and means 150 staff in senior management will share hundreds of millions in bonuses, after boosting the company’s share price and profits over the past five years.

The government’s Help To Buy scheme, launched in 2013, is thought to have helped boost demand for new-build homes and profits for builders over this time.

It comes as home affordability remains one of the biggest challenges for young people.

The issue featured heavily in Philip Hammond’s Budget last week, with a pledge to build 300,000 homes a year.

Fairburn took the role as chief executive in 2013, after joining the board in 2009 and the company in 1989.

Fat cat salary

A Unite spokesman, said: “This shows everything which is wrong in the housebuilding industry.

“Directors receive the most outrageous fat cat salaries while the UK is suffering a housing crisis which is leaving millions in housing misery.

“To make a terrible travesty of justice even more appalling it is the housebuilding sector which has been at the forefront of creating the construction skills crisis by their woeful failure to train apprentices.”

A Persimmon spokesperson said: “The LTIP scheme was approved by around 85% of shareholders in 2012.

“The LTIP is a long-term plan that was intended to run for almost a decade and which is designed to drive out-performance through the housing cycle and to incentivise the management to deliver the capital return, grow the business and increase the share price.

“Unlike many other schemes, it extended to around 150 executives.

“From the launch of our long-term strategy at the start of 2012 to 30 June 2017 the group has delivered 72,500 new homes across the UK, increasing the number of new homes delivered to customers by over 65%.

“We have also invested around £2.94bn in new land and opened around 1,100 new sales outlets.”