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£5.8M golden hello for new Lloyds finance chief

Lloyds Banking Group has agreed a golden hello package of up to £5.8m for new group finance director George Culmer to prise him from his 12-month notice period with RSA Insurance Group.

Culmer, who has been RSA’s chief financial officer since May 2004, will replace former finance director Tim Tookey, who left the bank to join Friends Life at the end of last month. Culmer will join LBG on May 16.

The appointment brings to an end a drawn-out process for Lloyds in trying to agree a start date for Culmer, going back to last November when the bank tried to get RSA to release him ahead of schedule to replace Tookey.

Culmer will get an annual salary of £720,000 and a discretionary annual bonus of up to 200 per cent of his salary plus an allowance of 25 per cent of his salary to fund a personal pension. He will also receive a long-term performance-based share incentive of up to 225 per cent of his salary if he meets certain targets. Lloyds will give Culmer shares worth £1.9m, which will vest in 2013 and 2014, as he has to give up deferred awards and a cash bonus from RSA.

Before he worked for RSA, Culmer was Zurich as chief financial officer of its UK operations in 2000 and became head of capital management in 2003.

London & Country associate director of communications David Hollingworth says: “There will be a lot of anger about the size of the package but it is positive that Lloyds is looking to attract the calibre of people it needs to improve its situation.”

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