Saturday 21 April 2018

Persimmon appoints City heavyweight Roger Devlin as chairman

Devlin – currently chairman at pub group Marston’s and recently appointed chairman-designate at William Hill – will take on the post from June 1.

Housebuilder Persimmon has named Roger Devlin as its new chairman (PA)
Housebuilder Persimmon has named Roger Devlin as its new chairman (PA)

By Holly Williams, Press Association Deputy City Editor

Housebuilder Persimmon has named Roger Devlin as its new chairman following the resignation of Nicholas Wrigley amid a furore over excessive pay for top bosses.

Mr Devlin – currently chairman at pub group and brewer Marston’s and recently appointed chairman-designate at betting giant William Hill – will take on the post from June 1.

His appointment comes after Mr Wrigley and remuneration committee chair Jonathan Davie stepped down following an outcry over bonus plans that could have seen management share out up to £600 million – including a potential £100 million payout for chief executive Jeff Fairburn.

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Mr Devlin has acted as chairman of Marston's since 2013 (William Hill/PA)

Bosses at the group agreed to hand back around £50 million in bonuses last month to calm mounting anger, with Mr Fairburn’s award cut by £25 million.

There had been mounting pressure from politicians and some shareholders over the long-term incentive plan introduced by the company six years ago, with the firm having been boosted by the Government’s Help to Buy scheme.

It revealed last month that annual profits jumped by a quarter to £966.1 million, boosted by booming demand for new builds.

Nigel Mills – senior independent director at Persimmon, who was appointed acting chairman on an interim basis following Mr Wrigley’s departure – said Mr Devlin was the “right candidate” to chair Persimmon.

Mr Mills, who led the search for Mr Wrigley’s successor, added: “I am sure that his wide business experience and his personal qualities will enable him to make a significant contribution to the future of the group.”

Mr Devlin will step down from Marston’s and the Football Association on May 31, ahead of taking up the role at Persimmon.

He will be paid £300,000 a year to chair the builder and will not receive any other benefits, Persimmon said.

Mr Devlin said: “Persimmon has delivered excellent financial performance as well as materially increasing output in recent years.

“The housebuilding industry offers good growth prospects, and I look forward to working with Jeff Fairburn, his executive team and the board in providing a broad range of quality homes to our valued customers while continuing the group’s track record of superior returns to shareholders.”

Mr Devlin has led the Marston’s board since 2013.

Marston’s said the process to recruit a new chairman was under way.

Press Association

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