Boucher’s retention was ‘a condition of investors’

Bank of Ireland chief executive Richie Boucher’s retention was a condition for a group of investors that bought a stake in the lender in 2011, according to Finance Minister Michael Noonan.

The Government sold a 34.9% stake in the bank to five investors — including WL Ross & Co and Fairfax Financial Holdings — in 2011, lowering the State’s stake to 15.1%.

The group of investors — also including Fidelity Investments, Kennedy Wilson and the Capital Group — invested a combined €1.12bn in Bank of Ireland.

The bank paid Mr Boucher total remuneration of €843,000 in 2012, after he waived €67,000 according to the bank’s annual report, published earlier this week.

It’s “difficult to argue that a good job isn’t being done there,” Mr Noonan told the Dáil yesterday. “The investors see fit to reward” Mr Boucher, he added.

Bank of Ireland’s board of directors shared a combined €2.56m in remuneration last year; with Mr Boucher’s total package double that of the next highest — and only other executive member of the bank’s board — chief financial officer, Andrew Keating, who was paid €418,000, but who was only appointed to his post in February of last year.

Before taking the €67,000 that he waived into account, Mr Boucher’s total pay package last year increased from €898,000 to €910,000.

— Bloomberg

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