Belfast Telegraph

Terra Firma staff cash in as Guy hands out pay boost

david elliott

One of the world's most revered investment funds, which owns one of Northern Ireland's biggest companies, doubled the salaries of its staff last year.

Founder and legendary investor, Guy Hands, paid 91 staff at his company Terra Firma, a total of £35.6m in the year to the end of March 2013, nearly double the wage bill from the year before, despite only adding seven to the headcount.

Mr Hands took home a handsome £3m, according to the Wall Street Journal, while the firm's chief executive Tim Pryce saw his wages climb to £2.7m from under £1m.

In August 2013, Terra Firma sold its holding in Northern Ireland gas distributor Phoenix Natural Gas for £700m to the Utilities Trust of Australia.

It was a deal which is thought to have seen the fund double its original investment.

It took control of Four Seasons, Northern Ireland's fourth largest company and one of the UK's biggest care home operators in July 2012, in a deal worth £825m.

Four Seasons reported turnover of £91m in 2012 and employs over 4,700 people.

But the fund's profit stream for the year up to March 2013, came from a number of other profitable investment 'exits', totalling £1.3bn and €140bn (£115bn) of initial public offerings.

On the downside it lost £1.75bn on its investment in record label EMI, which once counted Lily Allen and Robbie William amongst its artists.

Mr Hands started his working life at Goldman Sachs before going on to establish a finance group at Japanese investment bank Normura. He spun off Terra Firma in 2002 and quickly grew it to one of the world's most successful investment funds.

Belfast Telegraph