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Enterprise boss seals huge pay-off

SCOTTISH Enterprise human resources chief John Phillips completed a massive redundancy programme at the taxpayer-backed body by securing himself a near- £400,000 pay-off, it was revealed yesterday.

The figures were outlined in Scottish Enterprise’s annual accounts, which also showed it has been hit by tens of millions of pounds of property and investment write-downs as Scotland was buffeted by the global financial crisis.

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Phillips left his post in November having completed a major restructuring that created savings of £10m a year.

Scottish Enterprise’s accounts for the year to March 31, 2009, show his voluntary severance package comprised £260,100 in compensation for loss of office and £130,050 as pay in lieu of notice, which a spokesman confirmed was “around a year”.

He also received £93,000 in salary for the seven months he worked in the financial year. The spokesman said: “John Phillips’s payment was on the same terms as everyone else’s.”

Phillips worked at Scottish Enterprise for 17 years. On retirement at age 60 he will be get a pension of £30,000 to £35,000, plus a lump sum of up to £100,000.

The fast-track revamp of the organisation between September 2007 and March 2008 saw 264 staff made redundant and 1000 moved to other bodies.

The accounts reveal another 17, including Phillips, were made redundant in the 2008-2009 financial year with packages totalling £2.3m.

Chief executive Jack Perry, who announced in May he is leaving to return to the private sector, received a salary of £203,000 last year and benefits of £10,000.

He is listed as receiving a bonus of £18,000, although this has yet to be signed off by the Scottish Government. Scottish Enterprise said this is the maximum he could expect.

Such is the confusion around bonus payments at Scottish Enterprise that Perry is listed as having received a £24,000 bonus for the 2008 financial year.

But the body revealed yesterday Perry only got £17,000 when it was finally paid in June of this year.

The pay-out is performance-based and last year Scottish Enterprise missed targets relating to growth at the companies it works with and the number of new companies launched.

The body revealed its property portfolio was revalued down by £60m to £192m as the commercial property market plummeted.

Scottish Enterprise, including its Intermediary Technology Institutes (ITIs) which seek to turn academic discoveries into commercial products, also wrote off investments totalling £2.9m during the year.

The value of its shares in stock market-listed companies fell from £7.3m to £3.6m.

The spokesman said: “You would expect as markets pick up, these investments will increase likewise.”

But sales of companies netted it profits of £411,000, albeit down from £3.4m the year before.

Scottish Enterprise is likely to continue to feel the effects of the slowdown.

The Herald revealed last month that its ITI programme is facing a loss of around £4m after the American firm Applied Intellectual Capital that bought its Plurion battery programme failed to make a payment for the bulk of the purchase price.

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