Last of Persimmon fat cats steps down: Finance boss Killoran quits


Last of Persimmon fat cats steps down: Finance boss Mike Killoran – who trousered £60m in shares – quits after 26 years


The last of the three Persimmon fat cats to cash in from a £185million bonus scheme is leaving the housebuilder.

Mike Killoran, who was one of former chief executive Jeff Fairburn’s key lieutenants, has been at the company for 26 years.

But the 60-year-old will leave today having served as finance boss since 1999. Persimmon has poached Jason Windsor, who held the same role at Aviva, to replace him.

Mike Killoran, who was one of former chief executive Jeff Fairburn’s key lieutenants, has been at the company for 26 years

Killoran was one of three senior house builders at Persimmon to be handed tens of millions of pounds of shares in a controversial bonus scheme that cost Fairburn his job.

Killoran was handed £35million of shares in 2017 and £25million in 2018 while Fairburn received a total of £82million and Dave Jenkinson got £43million. 

Fairburn was forced out in 2018 amid a public outcry over the payments. He was replaced by Jenkinson, but he left last year and was succeeded by Dean Finch.

The departure of Killoran came as Persimmon reported bumper figures after cheap mortgage deals and the stamp duty holiday sent the property market into a frenzy during the pandemic.

Revenues rose 8 per cent to £3.6billion in 2021 as it completed the sale of 14,551 new homes, the company said in a trading update.

This was around 1,000 more than in 2020 – though it was below 2019 levels.

It was also boosted by rising property values as the average selling price of its homes rose from £230,500 in 2020 to £237,000 last year.

However, the company said increasing numbers of staff have been off work since Omicron hit, disrupting some moves.

It said: ‘The updated Government guidance has led to a pick-up in sickness-related absenteeism, with some customers also choosing to delay moving into their new home as they isolated.’

Home-buying inquiries ‘remained encouraging’, however, despite Government support schemes coming to an end.

The company’s order book stood at £1.62billion at the end of last year – below the £1.69billion of the year before but above the figure recorded in 2019.

Killoran navigated Persimmon through the pandemic, including lockdowns which initially rocked the construction industry.

He joined the company in 1996.

But bosses will hope his departure finally draws a line under a high-profile row about the bonus scheme set up in 2012.

The trading update followed the Government’s announcement on Monday that all leaseholders in high-rise blocks should not have to pay for remediation works on dangerous cladding.

This includes those in properties between 11 metres and 18 metres tall.

Persimmon insists it constructed only a ‘very small proportion’ of buildings affected by cladding problems.

Persimmon shares fell 0.5 per cent, or 13p, to 2608p.

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