Probe after exit of four MDU directors

The Financial Services Authority will look into an allegation of financial irregularity at the MDU following the resignation of four independent directors.

But MDU chief executive Dr Michael Saunders has denied reports that they resigned over his failure adequately to disclose his pay in the MDU’s annual report.  

He said one had resigned some months ago while three others resigned in July over ‘differences with the rest of the board’.  

He added that he was ‘surprised and saddened’ by the resignations but would not give any details as to what the board’s disagreements were about.  

Dr Saunders said there was no secrecy about his salary which was £177,000 basic last year and £394,000 after incentive payments — not the £450,000 claimed in some press reports.  

His salary did not appear in the MDU’s accounts but will appear in the annual report for MDU Services, the joint venture with Converium that provides insurance policies to members, as its highest paid director. That report is due next month.  

A spokeswoman for the MDU explained: ‘The way our executive remuneration is disclosed is based on advice of independent auditors. Using the gross equity method, auditors work out the proportion of time the executive spends working for MDU and MDU Services and this proportion is shown in the annual reports for MDU and MDUS.  

‘We believe this is the clearest way to show the information to our members.’  

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