HSBC’s Tucker takes sec­ond chair­man role at Dis­cov­ery

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Lucy Bur­ton

HSBC chair­man Mark Tucker has topped up his £1.5m salary by tak­ing a new role at South African in­surer Dis­cov­ery, a move that may court crit­i­cism that he is spread­ing him­self too thinly.

Mr Tucker, a former boss of in­sur­ance gi­ant Pru­den­tial, will be­come the non-ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of Dis­cov­ery from next March. The £250,000 role will in­volve up to 25 days of work per year, work­ing out at £10,000 a day.

While most of his time will still be de­voted to HSBC, Mr Tucker’s new role comes amid con­cern in the City that too many se­nior ex­ec­u­tives are “over­board­ing” by ac­cept­ing too many non-ex­ec­u­tive jobs.

Last year former Di­a­geo boss Paul Walsh abruptly quit HSBC’s board in the face of claims that he held too many di­rec­tor­ships, while Bar­clays said Deben­hams chair­man Sir Ian Cheshire would cut his work­load after be­com­ing its UK chair­man last year.

It came after proxy ad­viser Glass Lewis rec­om­mended that the bank’s in­vestors vote against his re-elec­tion be­cause he sat on too many boards.

Re­cently, Royal Mail’s chair­man, Peter Long, stepped down to fo­cus on strug­gling es­tate agent Coun­try­wide.

The re­newed fo­cus on ex­ec­u­tives tak­ing on too much co­in­cides with the non-ex­ec­u­tive chair­man role be­com­ing in­creas­ingly de­mand­ing.

TSB’s non-ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Richard Med­dings was forced to fill in for the chief ex­ec­u­tive ear­lier this year, for ex­am­ple, after an IT cri­sis led to former boss Paul Pester’s exit.

HSBC’s hir­ing of Mr Tucker last year marked the first time it had ever ap­pointed an ex­ter­nal chair­man. The role is de­mand­ing, re­quir­ing his fo­cus four days a week. A source said he has no in­ten­tion of tak­ing on fur­ther non-ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor roles.

Dis­cov­ery said its re­la­tion­ship with Mr Tucker dated back to the group’s joint ven­ture with Pru­den­tial 13 years ago. It said his ex­pe­ri­ence would be “hugely valu­able” to the group as it ex­pands.

South African in­surer Dis­cov­ery said Mark Tucker’s ex­pe­ri­ence would be ‘hugely valu­able’ to the group as it ex­pands

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