Twenty’s plenty for Bel­lamy at Reckitt, with sus­pi­cions the best years are be­hind it

Writes James Ash­ton

The Sunday Telegraph - Money & Business - - Business -

TWEN­TI­ETH an­niver­saries are in vogue. Jeremy Cor­byn is talk­ing up his chances of re­turn­ing Labour to power two decades af­ter Tony Blair en­tered Down­ing Street. The Bank of Eng­land has been busy de­fend­ing its switch to in­de­pen­dence in 1997 amid mut­ter­ings that the Trea­sury should take a big­ger role in mon­i­tor­ing fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity and pol­icy.

In con­trast, over at Reckitt Benckiser there has been barely a mur­mur as Adrian Bel­lamy reaches the big 2-0 as a board mem­ber of the Nuro­fen maker and its pre­de­ces­sor com­pany. That’s be­cause it is a mile­stone that nonex­ec­u­tives are never meant to reach. Bel­lamy, the 75-year-old for­mer Body Shop chair­man, has chaired Reckitt for 14 years and his over­all in­volve­ment is more than twice the length that the cor­po­rate gov­er­nance bri­gade ad­vo­cates as best prac­tice. Given one of its brands is stain re­mover Van­ish, you would think he would have taken the hint be­fore now, only re­cently an­nounc­ing a hand over next May to Mat­tel chair­man Christopher Sin­clair.

It is im­pos­si­ble to ig­nore Reckitt’s emer­gence as a £50bn health and hy­giene su­per­power in the time that Bel­lamy has been in the board­room. From the merger that cre­ated the busi­ness in 1999, to block­buster ac­qui­si­tions that added Strep­sils and Durex con­doms to its bath­room cabi­net, share­hold­ers have reaped gi­ant re­wards. So has the man­age­ment.

Bel­lamy waved through the breath­tak­ing £92m an­nual pack­age for for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive Bart Becht – a sum that even Sir Mar­tin Sor­rell has yet to beat.

But as the old guard takes its leave, there is a sus­pi­cion that Reckitt’s best

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.