QBE's departing CEO penalised millions

The insurance giant aims to send a strong message about acceptable behaviour

QBE's departing CEO penalised millions

The departing CEO of QBE will be penalised around $10 million, after a complaint by a female employee triggered his shock exit last week.

The QBE board’s move came during a period when the culture of financial institutions has been heavily in the public spotlight.

The insurer revealed the financial arrangements of former CEO Pat Regan in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on Wednesday, which includes “payment of $310,000, in lieu of a reduced notice period, plus his statutory leave entitlements.”

In the statement, QBE confirmed that Regan “will not receive any grants under the QBE incentive schemes for the 2020 financial year and all of his unvested conditional rights under the incentive schemes will lapse immediately, in accordance with plan rules.”

While the insurer did not reveal the total value of the unvested conditional rights, the Australian Financial Review estimated the amount to be around $10 million.

The insurer announced Regan’s shock removal last week, following the outcome of an external investigation concerning workplace communications. 

While the QBE statement did not provide details of the original employee complaint, it said that after an investigation, the board decided that Regan’s communications “did not meet the standard set out in the group code of ethics and conduct”.

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