Metropolitan pays Bill Payne £412,897 as it shakes up its governance structures
Record payout for ex-housing association boss
Housing chiefs’ pay has broken the £400,000 barrier for the first time after one of the UK’s largest social landlords agreed a massive compensation pay-off for its former boss.
Housing association Metropolitan paid Bill Payne £412,897 in 2011/12, according to its annual accounts which were released this month.
His total remuneration includes a £209,163 compensation package which the association flagged up to the Homes and Communities Agency, the social housing watchdog. Mr Payne had been chief executive for four years.
John Belcher was previously the sector’s highest paid chief executive when his salary hit £391,000 in 2009, shortly before he resigned from Anchor Trust.
The compensation package for Mr Payne, who left Metropolitan at the end of 2011, was agreed by the association’s board after it sought legal advice, said its interim chief executive, the troubleshooting consultant Peter Cleland. ‘He was paid what he was entitled to be paid,’ he added.
Colin Inniss, a UNISON officer, described Mr Payne’s pay package as a ‘disgrace’ and ‘deeply unfair’.
The news came as Metropolitan, which has been subject to regulatory concern over its regeneration schemes, undergoes a £9.5 million shake-up of its legal and governance structures.
Four members of the 13-strong board resigned this month after new good practice rules restricting board tenure to six years were adopted.
The chair of Metropolitan’s audit committee had served for 12 years - three years longer than recommended by the National Housing Federation’s good practice guidance.
The London-based association’s chair and former Labour government minister Barbara Roche will remain beyond six years to help newly appointed chief executive Brian Johnson settle in. Ms Roche is expected to step down by the annual general meeting in September 2013.
36,000-home Metropolitan’s financial statement also confirmed its massive Clapham Park regeneration project in Lambeth had increased its exposure to financial risk.
It stated the subsidiary managing the scheme would be subject to ‘strengthened governance arrangements; close scrutiny and accountability to Metropolitan board’.
The subsidiary needs around £240 million to complete the project. The parent association has pledged up to £50 million, the rest is being sought from lenders.
Mr Payne said: ‘It is down to boards and remuneration committees to decide how much and why chief executives are paid.’