The departing head of ABN Amro Nederland, Jan Peter Schmittmann, is leaving his post with an €8m golden handshake, the NRC reports.
A judge ruled on Monday that Schmittmann was entitled to a bigger pay-out than the €2.4m which ABN Amro wanted to pay. In his contract, the golden handshake totalled €16m, but the former CEO had already agreed to halve that amount.
The paper says the €8m pay-out is notable because the bank has been nationalised since October. It was bought by the state as part of its rescue of financial services group Fortis which was on the point of collapse.
Fortis executives agreed to forego their bonuses and golden handshakes were limited to one year’s salary. The same happened at ING and Aegon when they applied for a government bail-out. Schmittman (52) was in charge of ABN Amro Nederland when the entire group was taken over by a consortium including Fortis last year.
A spokeswoman for the finance ministry said the pay-out was ‘exorbitant’. ‘It conforms to the old system within the bank but we now have new ideas,’ she said. ‘This is once again a reason to develop a reward system which will limit the pay-outs to departing executives to one year’s salary’. Schmittmann has been with ABN Amro for 26 years.
Former finance minister Gerrit Zalm, who takes over as head of Fortis and ABN Amro Nederland on January 1, was also critical of the deal. Zalm said he realised the amount would ‘not be understood under the present circumstances’.
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