VHI's acting chief to receive €50,000 more than new cap

Tue, Feb 7, 2012, 00:00

THE GOVERNMENT has approved a salary for the acting head of the VHI which is almost € 50,000 a year higher than the cap it set for a new chief executive.

Declan Moran, who was formerly head of marketing and product development at the State insurer, has taken on the role of chief executive on an acting basis on his existing salary of €240,000.

This follows the VHI’s failure to recruit a chief executive to replace Jimmy Tolan, who was on a salary of over €410,000 in 2009 and 2010.

Last week the VHI announced a 9 per cent premium increase from March 1st. This followed increases of up to 45 per cent for many of its 1.3 million subscribers last year.

Last June the Government imposed a cap of €250,000 on the salaries of chief executives of semi-States generally, and in the case of the VHI stated that the starting salary of a new chief executive should be €191,014.

Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin said some exceptions would be permitted but the ceiling was adhered to when a new chief executive was appointed to ESB Electric Ireland last month.

The cap set for the VHI amounted to a significant drop from the salary enjoyed by Mr Tolan, and also meant a new chief executive would be earning less than some of those reporting to him/her.

The VHI said it received a “substantial number” of internal and external applications when it advertised to recruit a new chief executive. A spokeswoman said a number of applicants withdrew from the process when they were made aware of the cap.

“The board of VHI Healthcare has decided to appoint an acting chief executive until such time as we have clarity on the future direction of VHI Healthcare and the regulatory environment in which the organisation operates.”

Minister for Health James Reilly confirmed in the Dáil last week that Mr Moran had agreed to take up the position without any increase in his remuneration package. Mr Moran’s appointment and the salary applying has been approved by Government, the VHI spokeswoman said.

Mr Moran, who joined VHI in 1997 from the life and pensions industry, is a fellow of the Institute of Actuaries.

Mr Tolan recently joined PricewaterhouseCoopers as head of the company’s healthcare advisory practice. Prior to joining VHI, he was chief executive of Fyffes.