Wednesday, 29 June 2011

One civil servant who won't have to worry about his pension - FSA head Baron Adair Turner

Baron Adair Turner is a multi-millionaire who last year pocketed £482,442 in wages and benefits for chairing the Financial Services Authority.  Taking the post of the body that failed to tackle the irresponsible bank lending practices that led to the economic crisis saw Turner quit his post as non-executive director at Standard Chartered where he was paid £188,000 in 2007. That same year also saw him receive £55,000 from UBM media firm, where he was in his seventh year as a non-executive director, and be allocated shares valued at £85,104.

If the figures are impressive they’re nothing compared to what he earned during his time as a senior executive at investment bank Merrill Lynch over a six year period from 2000 onwards. Obtaining a reliable figure has proven almost impossible but according to Charles Davis, an economist at the Centre for Economic and Business Research, “He was at Merrill Lynch when executives filled their boots at a time of massive expansion thanks to the dot com boom.”

Little good did it do the company itself however as whilst it was paying unaffordable bonuses it then lost billions as boom turned to bust and they pushed mortgages on people who couldn’t afford them. Merrill Lynch only subsequently survived by being bought out. Between 1995 and 1999 Baron Turner, whose wife Orna Ní Chionna also collected over £50,000 last year as a non-executive director for Northern Foods, was Director General of the CBI where he was paid the equivalent of £300,000 at today’s prices.

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