Persimmon hires new CEO on £725,000 basic salary

Dean Finch

Scandal-hit York house building giant Persimmon plc said on Wednesday it has appointed National Express boss Dean Finch as its new group chief executive.

Finch, 53, who has been CEO of National Express plc since 2010, will succeed David Jenkinson as CEO at Persimmon at the end of this year. 

Persimmon was warned last year to change its corporate culture by an independent review following serious complaints about its executive pay, customer service and the safety of its homes.

Former Persimmon CEO Jeff Fairburn left the firm amid a scandal over his $100 million package.

On Finch’s remuneration, Persimmon said he will receive an annual base salary of £725,000 and a pension allowance of 9% of salary.

Persimmon added: “From 1 January 2021 he will be able to participate in the company’s existing annual bonus plan up to a maximum of 200% of salary (with 50% of any bonus earned being deferred into Persimmon shares for three years), and the performance share plan up to 200% of salary (based on performance over three years and subject to a further two year holding period).

“As set out in the remuneration policy for the executive directors, a significant proportion of Dean’s remuneration will be based on non-financial metrics including customer care and quality.

“Dean will also receive awards in Persimmon shares to compensate for some, but not all, of the remuneration he is forfeiting on leaving his previous employer. 

“These will remain subject to performance conditions where appropriate and reflect the value of the forfeited awards.

“The vesting timeline of the replacement awards will be the same as (or extended from) those which apply to the forfeited awards.

“Details will be disclosed in Persimmon’s directors’ remuneration report for the year ending 31 December 2020.”

Persimmon chairman Roger Devlin said: “Dean is a seasoned, well-respected and proven chief executive with an exceptional record.

“In his current role he has delivered substantial strategic and operational progress over a sustained period, delivering value for all stakeholders in the business while developing a distinct and cohesive culture, focused on customer care and service.

“The board believes that Dean is a great fit for Persimmon and is well qualified to lead the business into the next phase as we continue to drive a programme of change to become the leading volume builder of good value, quality family homes throughout the UK.

“I look forward to welcoming him to the company at the end of the year. 

“I would also like to thank Dave Jenkinson for his outstanding contribution to Persimmon over many years, and particularly for his decisive leadership during the Covid-19 outbreak.

“Dave has committed to lead the business until the conclusion of the current financial year in December.”

Finch said: “Persimmon is a strong business operating in a sector that has a critical role to play for both the people and the economy of the UK as we emerge from the profound disruption of Covid-19.

“I look forward to leading the business in its drive to become Britain’s best housebuilder and delivering for all stakeholders in the business whilst continuing to deliver strong financial returns to investors.”