UK: Increased annual pay for G4S chief despite London 2012 games fiasco

Nick Buckles, chief executive of G4S
Photo: VisMedia

Nick Buckles, chief executive of G4S Photo: VisMedia - Credit: VisMedia

THE boss of security giant G4S took home a bigger pay packet in 2012 despite the company’s botched handling of the Olympics Games contract, it has emerged.

G4S paid chief executive Nick Buckles a total £1.19million in 2012, up from £1.02m a year earlier, during a year in which the military was forced to step in to plug a gap left by the company’s failure to provide all 10,400 guards needed for the Games.

The fiasco left G4S nursing losses of £88m on the contract and Mr Buckles fighting for his job.

As well as an £830,000 salary, Mr Buckles’ 2012 pay packet included £23,500 in benefits and £332,000 in payments in lieu of pension. Mr Buckles 2012 pay packet was boosted by bigger pension payments.

However, neither he nor other executive directors earned a performance-related bonus.

G4S said in its annual report Mr Buckles’ and other executives’ salaries were frozen in 2012 and will not increase this year, the fourth time in five years their salaries have been frozen.

But it revealed plans to increase potential long-term share bonuses this year to “ensure that the directors continue to be incentivised and motivated”.

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Mr Buckles’ maximum shares bonus could rise to 2.5 times his salary from a maximum of two times in 2012, meaning a potential £2.1m in shares if he hits targets.

Performance-related bonuses will also now depend on factors including organic growth, cash generation, strategic execution and organisation, instead of being tied purely to profits.

G4S’s Olympics failure saw Mr Buckles hauled before MPs, during which he admitted it was a “humiliating shambles for the company’’. Extra military personnel had to be called in to fill the gap left by G4S’s failure to supply enough staff for the £284m contract.

Mr Buckles said in the annual report it marked “one of the toughest periods in the group’s history”.

Chairman John Connolly said his first few months in office were a “baptism of fire”, but insisted there was “no systemic problem” in the way the group ran its business.

Instead he said the “unique” nature of the Olympics contract and the tight time frame were behind the failure.

Mr Connolly added there were “no significant shortcomings” in Mr Buckles’ performance, “nor any serious failings” attributable to him around the Olympics contract.

G4S is the largest employer on the London Stock Exchange with more than 620,000 staff worldwide.

The company’s charitable donations during the year surged to £2.8m from £344,000 a year earlier, driven by a £2.5 million handout to military charities.

Shareholders will vote on the company’s pay deal at its annual meeting on June 6 in London.

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