Disgraced former LV boss Mark Hartigan handed a £532k golden goodbye

‘Reward for failure’: Disgraced former LV boss Mark Hartigan handed a £532k golden goodbye despite failed private equity takeover

The controversial former boss of LV has been handed a golden goodbye of more than £500,000 in what critics say is a ‘reward for failure’.

Ex-army colonel Mark Hartigan, who quit in September after his plan to sell the mutual insurer to private equity was blocked by members, was given £120,000 ‘upon termination’.

He will also receive ten months’ salary and benefits worth £412,545, taking his total pay off to £532,545.

That came on top of a pay cheque of £767,000 for just nine months’ work last year, including a £318,000 bonus – which followed a bonus of £511,000 in 2021, the year the sale to Bain Capital fell through.

Ousted: Ex-army colonel Mark Hartigan (pictured) quit in September after his plan to sell the mutual insurer to private equity was blocked by members

His earnings while in charge of LV total £3million in three years – and top £3.5million once the golden goodbye is added on.

Critics branded Hartigan, 60, ‘shameless’ and said the payouts were ‘an insult’ to members of LV.

The mutual was set up in 1843 to help the poor of Liverpool pay for a decent burial for their loved ones and is still owned by its members.

But its mutual status remains only because members blocked Hartigan’s plan to sell LV to Bain, following a campaign by the Mail to save it from private equity ownership. LV said the pay honoured Hartigan’s ‘legal and contractual entitlements’.

The payouts were overseen by new chairman Simon Moore and remuneration committee head Natalie Ceeney.

Labour MP Gareth Thomas, who runs Parliament’s all-party group on mutuals, said Hartigan was ‘shameless’. 

‘If Mark Hartigan had a shred of decency, he would give back every penny he has been paid over and above his salary,’ he said. Peter Hunt, of mutual lobby group Mutuo, said the it was ‘an insult to members’. 

Hartigan quit with his reputation in tatters after his effort to sell the firm was thwarted by its 1.2m members. 

Alongside former chairman Alan Cook, he agreed a £530million deal with the Boston outfit which would have stripped LV of its mutual status. In return, members would have received a £100 pay-off.

The pair spent more than £30million of members’ money on preparations for the takeover.

But after a campaign by MPs, policyholders and the Mail, the sale was rejected and Hartigan and Cook were forced to quit. Cook was paid £33,000 last year for just two months’ work.

Hartigan has been replaced by former Bupa UK boss David Hynam, and Moore replaced Cooke. 

Hunt said: ‘It is an insult to members that the board paid a further bonus to Hartigan on top of his already generous pay packet, despite his entire tenure being a disaster.’

Thomas said: ‘This is a man who spent months trying to wreck LV and then resigned in disgrace when members rejected his dodgy deal. 

To pocket a bonus and a golden goodbye worth hundreds of thousands of pounds – an astronomical amount – shows he has not learned a thing.

‘Since joining three years ago, Mr Hartigan has taken members for fools at every chance he had. The board should never have let his bonus go ahead.’

LV posted a £265million loss for 2022, compared with £66million in 2021, as its investment portfolios took a hit. Savings and retirement trading profits sank by 55 per cent from £22million to £10million. 

It shared £35million worth of bonuses among eligible members.

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