New Star chairman John Duffield picked up over 150m last week after reducing his stake in the business by around 40 per cent.
Duffield has put 24.3 million of his own shares worth 109m into a 213m share placing that will see senior management take cash out of the business. The move sees Duffield’s stake reduced to 7.6 per cent. He will get another 45.6m from the better than expected 125p per share return of capital to shareholders and a further 3m from the 9p fullyear dividend.
Chief executive Howard Covington and investment chief Richard Pease will net 15m by reducing their shareholdings from 3.2 to 2.1 per cent. The sell-off sees almost 47 million shares in the firm being sold as the staff’s total holding falls from 51 to 35 per cent.
Duffield dismisses talk of retirement, saying: “I remain completely committed to the business.”
New Star’s profits rose to 50m last year from 17m in 2005.