Ex-Rolls staff lose shares over scandal

Rolls received 428 questions and concerns from employees and stakeholders to its confidential reporting ethics helpline last year

Dismissed employees at Rolls-Royce have had shares and other incentives clawed back after the aerospace engineer’s bribery and corruption inquiry.

Senior executives have not had their pay packages cut, however, despite Rolls-Royce reaching a £671 million settlement with investigators in January, because the judge ruling on the scandal was satisfied that the existing leadership was not culpable.

“The [remuneration] committee has concluded that the impact of the penalties should be excluded from the 2016 bonus and from future incentive targets,” Rolls said in its annual report, published yesterday.

It meant that Warren East, who was appointed chief executive in July 2015 before the corruption was unearthed, was paid £2.1 million last year, including a £916,000 bonus.

Bonuses of £413,000 and £405,000 were also paid to Colin Smith, Rolls’ group president, and David Smith, the chief financial officer.

Last month Rolls reported a record loss of £4.6 billion for 2016, hit by the slump in sterling and the settlement.

Rolls reached a deferred prosecution agreement, under which it will avoid criminal charges, with the Serious Fraud Office and the authorities in the US and Brazil over what Sir Brian Leveson, in a judgment at Southwark crown court, called the “most serious breaches of criminal law in the areas of bribery and corruption”.

The wrongdoing occurred between 1989 and 2013 in numerous countries, including Russia and China. Rolls was found to have paid bribes covering contracts that earned the company more than £250 million of gross profit.

Rolls has not disclosed details of the number or identity of employees who have been dismissed as a result of its investigation.

Since the settlement, the SFO has turned its attention on investigating individuals. Sir John Rose, who worked at Rolls for 27 years and was chief executive from 1996 to 2011, is understood to be one of dozens of former executives and middlemen who have been questioned under caution by the SFO. Sir John has denied any wrongdoing.

The report shows the employment of 38 people at Rolls was “ended for reasons relating to breaches” of its code of conduct, up from 33 in 2015. The code also covers issues such as harassment, discrimination and bullying.

Rolls also received 428 questions and concerns from employees and stakeholders to its confidential reporting ethics helpline last year, down from 439 in 2015.

Rolls spent £123.1 million as part of its investigation and work with prosecutors around the world as well as its reviews and advice, last month’s judgment said.

The Times

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