CITY WHISPERS: Are the fat cats finally starting to slim down?

CITY WHISPERS: Are Britain’s fattest cats on a money diet? That’s what you might conclude after reading annual reports of FTSE 100 heavy-hitters

Are Britain’s fattest cats on a money diet? That’s what you might conclude after flicking through the annual reports of several FTSE 100 heavy-hitters.

Last week, Endeavour Mining boss Sebastien de Montessus – crowned the best paid boss in The Mail on Sunday’s 2022 Fat Cat Files report – saw his compensation more than halve to around £9 million. He had received £18.8 million the year before.

AstraZeneca boss Pascal Soriot, second highest paid in the Fat Cat Files, took home £15.3 million.

Calm before the storm: Are Britain’s fattest cats on a money diet?

If de Montessus is on a crash diet, Soriot is being less strict with his intake, as his pay fell only slightly from the £15.7 million he made in 2021.

Albert Manifold, head of building materials firm CRH who was third on the list, saw his pay fall 13 per cent to £10.7 million.

Perhaps he’ll be hoping for a favourable exchange rate with the dollar, what with his move to shift CRH’s stock market listing from London to New York.

Smiles all round for climate activists  

Eco-campaigners have something to smile about. After a stonking rally in 2022, coal stocks in London have tanked so far this year. 

MC Mining has more than halved in value and Thungela Resources – spun off from Anglo American last year – is down by almost a third. 

Prices of thermal coal are at their lowest since January 2022. 

Drax and EDF have ruled out keeping their back-up coal plants on next winter, so it looks like Britain won’t be boosting King Coal any more either. 

Hitting the wrong note at Signature

After days of wall-to-wall banking news, it’s easy to forget that US lender Signature Bank collapsed only a week ago.

Even more memorable are the music videos which Signature’s executive team had made about themselves.

These videos – including a Signature-promoting reimagining the Katy Perry song Firework – and comedy sketches are likely seared into the memories of anyone who had to watch them.

Yes, these types of projects can be fun for some, but these were reportedly pricey and are difficult not to find cringe-inducing.

They give off energy that is more Dunder Mifflin, from the US version of The Office, than that of a bank with £91 billion of assets at the end of 2022.

Iceland Tory candidate quiet on business rates 

Iceland boss Richard Walker was oddly quiet after Jeremy Hunt’s failure last week to tackle the business rates burden throttling the high street.

Usually a prominent campaigner for an overhaul of the dreaded shops tax, Walker declined to comment after the Chancellor brushed over business rates in his inaugural Budget.

The Iceland heir could have claimed to be distracted as he is preparing to climb Mount Everest next month.

But he had another incentive to stay schtum – he is an approved Tory candidate hoping to contest a seat at the next Election.

‘I am keeping my head down at the moment to keep CCHQ happy,’ Whispers hears he has said.

Good luck with that…