Months after taking over the control of engineer GKN, Melrose leaders install friendy hunting as chairman

End of an era: Melrose confirmed plans to destroy GKN, which makes parts for the Blackhawk helicopter

The man who signed a deal of £ 170 million for the Fat Cat bosses at Melrose was named the chairman of the office yesterday.

In a move that raised eyebrows in the city, Justin Dowley was promoted from the head of the remuneration committee to chairman of the company as part of a boardroom that was set up to suppress concerns about corporate governance.

But the switch – just a few months after the acquisition of British engineering and defense by Gray of £ 8 billion by the company – aroused concern among critics who doubted whether the 63-year-old person was the best person to oversee the top team.

End of an era: Melrose confirmed plans to destroy GKN, which makes parts for the Blackhawk helicopter

End of an era: Melrose confirmed plans to destroy GKN, which makes parts for the Blackhawk helicopter

He has been with Melrose since 2011 and last year his committee signed an incentive plan under which Melrose bosses David Roper, Simon Peckham, Christopher Miller and Geoffrey Martin paid a total of £ 170 million – or more than £ 40 million each.

Dowley's move is part of a review at Melrose that will make the presidency a non-executive role in an effort to calm critics who claimed that there was no independent oversight of the FTSE100 company.

Miller, who was executive chairman, becomes a second executive vice chairman at Roper, along with chief executive Peckham.

A senior City Corporate Governance expert said that the leadership structure with its three executive tasks removes responsibility.

He said: & # 39; It is difficult as an outsider to know where the real power lies – who is leading the business?

Normally, the chief executive is the key position and the share price rises or falls when a good or bad person comes into that position. But if you have three people in similar positions – where is the power? For investors, from whose company do they buy? & # 39;

Luke Hildyard, director of the High Pay Center, said: "Moving to a non-executive chairman's role is a positive development because it takes a little distance between them.

& # 39; But if it is someone who has already been involved with the company and has been responsible for those controversial rewards, then of course there will be some skepticism about whether he will be a pretty independent supervisor.

He added: & # 39; The new corporate governance code asks companies to think about how they pay their chief executives compared to a broader workforce. You wonder how seriously the Chairman of the Remuneration Committee, who pays £ 40 million to them, will do that. & # 39;

Melrose hit the spot earlier this year when it bought GKN for £ 8bn after a hostile takeover bid opposite to the Mail due to concerns about asset stripping.

Yesterday it confirmed plans to demolish the 259-year-old company that supplied cannon balls before the battle of Waterloo and made parts for the Blackhawk helicopter (see above). Melrose has hired consultants to provide strategic options & # 39; to explore for the powder metallurgy division, which is expected to be sold for almost £ 2 billion.

Rousing eyebrows: Justin Dowley was promoted to chairman

Rousing eyebrows: Justin Dowley was promoted to chairman

Rousing eyebrows: Justin Dowley was promoted to chairman

It has also hired bankers to make buyers for the Off-Highway Powertrain division, which makes drive shafts and gearboxes.

Melrose made a total loss for the half-year of £ 303 million, with the GKN acquisition including advisory costs being taken into account. With those costs stripped, the profit increased from £ 131 million to £ 240 million.

Bosses said that since the acquisition they have no black holes & # 39; in GKN, the interim dividend has increased to 1.55p per share, an increase of 11 percent compared to the 1.4p per share last year.

Miller told the shareholders: "Your board has determined that it is the right time for the role of chairman to become non-executive.

& # 39; Justin joined Melrose in 2011 with a wealth of experience and has since made a very valued contribution. & # 39;

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