Kingspan says it disclosed all details on director’s exit

Insulation company responds to Glass Lewis note that it could have been ‘more explicit’

Kingspan chief executive Gene Murtagh: His total pay was reduced by 20 per cent last year to €3.19 million. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Kingspan chief executive Gene Murtagh: His total pay was reduced by 20 per cent last year to €3.19 million. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

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Insulation maker Kingspan says it disclosed all details relating to director Peter Wilson’s retirement in a response to a call on shareholders not to back its executives’ pay deal at the company’s annual general meeting.

Investor adviser Glass Lewis this week recommended that shareholders vote against Kingspan’s remuneration report, which details what it paid executives last year, as it could have been “more explicit” regarding Mr Wilson’s departure.

Glass Lewis highlighted that Kingspan’s annual report states shares due to Mr Wilson under an executive bonus scheme would be reduced pro rata to reflect the period he would not be serving as a result of his retirement.

The firm notes that this indicates that Kingspan was treating Mr Wilson as a good leaver.

Grenfell Tower disaster

He announced his retirement in December, when the UK division of the insulation boards business that he led was at the centre of controversy at the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster in London.

Kingspan’s response argues that previous documents have set out clearly the circumstances where executives continue to receive share awards when they leave. These include retirement or where someone leaves by consent.

“In our view, Glass Lewis has not presented to shareholders the actual step of accountability taken by the executive in retiring early, with no compensation for loss of office, despite no finding of wrongdoing against him, implied or actual, by either the inquiry or the company,” Kingspan says.

‘Historic shortcomings’

Kingspan chief Gene Murtagh and his fellow executives lost a total of €3 million in bonuses last year following the controversy at the Grenfell inquiry.

Mr Wilson’s total pay was cut to €944,000 from €1.57 million as a consequence. Mr Murtagh’s was reduced 20 per cent to €3.19 million from €3.97 million.

The group apologised for “unacceptable historic shortcomings” in its UK insulation boards business, part of the division headed by Mr Wilson, and said it had taken steps to ensure they would not happen again.

When Mr Wilson announced that he would retire at the end of last year, he said it was the right time to hand the insulation boards division over to new leadership.