With Boris Johnson’s imminent announcement that he intends to stand as the Tory candidate in the 2012 London Mayoral Election, we’ll be interested to see who the major donors to his campaign will be, especially as hedge funds and private equity funds provided the bulk of the donations to his 2008 campaign.
Over the last 18 months, the Mayor seems to have become remarkably fond of executive headhunters, Odgers Berndtson, awarding them Tier One of the GLA’s lucrative Executive Search & Selection Services contract in July 2009.
Exactly how lucrative providing such services to Johnson’s GLA can be is clearly shown in the almost-monthly payments made to Odgers Berndtson since January 2009:
- 01/09 £9,473.44
- 03/09 £20,603.36
- 04/09 £79,267.84
- 06/09 £16,097.13
- 08/09 £33,521.35
- 09/09 £33,797.37
- 11/08 £30,368.23
- 12/09 £54,710.79
- Period 12, 2009-10 £17,551.91
- Period 13,2009-10 £11,137.82
- Period 01, 2010-11 £2,337.08
That makes a total of £308,865.32 paid to Odgers Berndtson from January 2009 to April/May 2010.
Guto Harri, the Mayor’s Director of External Affairs, lists lunch and a speaking engagement with Odgers Berndtson in his gifts and hospitality register in June 2009.
So, who runs Odgers Berndtson? The Chair is some woman called Virgina and the CEO is Richard Boggis-Rolfe, who just happens to have donated £207,500 to Conservative Central Office in three-and-a-half years, the most recent donation being £50,000 in March 2010.
It transpires that the parent company has not been doing terribly well recently, with its share price falling from just under £5.00 to £0.395 in two years. Despite a 39% fall in pre-tax profit, Boggis-Rolfe and Bottomley received maximum bonuses of £375,000 and £280,000 respectively. With TfL Directors recently waiving their bonuses, maybe it’s about time the private sector saw fit to do the same, especially when profit and productivity have plummeted.
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