Sesame directors see pay rise despite £11m loss

Cowan-John-Sesame Bankhall-2014

Sesame Bankhall Group’s highest paid director was paid £508,000 last year, the network’s 2015 accounts show.

The network, which closed to investment advisers last March after being fined for compliance failings and “pay to play” deals with providers, has also seen its losses for the year increase from £7.9m to £11.6m.

The highest paid director also received £18,000 in pension contributions. The total paid to the highest paid director the previous year was £399,000, with no pension contributions.

Overall, Sesame’s directors were paid £2m, up from £1.4m in 2014.

Sesame’s overall wage bill, listed within a subsidiary, Sesame Services Limited, was £19m, down from £20.7m in 2014 as the network cut 100 staff.

Sesame originally cut 69 jobs as it closed its network to wealth advisers. It 2015, it averaged 379 staff, down from 479 the previous year.

The accounts also that Sesame has paid out £4.6m to clients since a review of advice between 2010 and 2012 found instances of poor pension transfer advice.

Sesame was the most complained about advice firm in the second half of 2015, but was overtaken by St James’s Place for the first half of 2016.

Last year, parent company Aviva pledged £25m of support to pay past Sesame liabilities.

Sesame’s accounts read: “The directors believe that with the changes implemented as part of the strategic review of Sesame Bankhall Group, and the ongoing financial support of the parent entities to the company, the company is well placed to manage its business risks successfully.”