Simon Burke

CPL boss strikes it lucky

Recruitment company CPL hiked its interim dividend by more than two-thirds last week after a jump in profits.

The biggest beneficiary of the dividend payout will be CPL's chief executive Ann Heraty and her husband Paul Carroll. Together the duo own more than 40% of CPL's shares. Heraty, the only woman who heads a public company in Ireland, will get about €330,000 from the dividend, while Carroll gets €55,000.

The payout, though, is small change compared to the increase in value of their combined shareholding in the company. CPL shares hit a 52-week high last week, valuing the couple's stake at €46m. That's a gain of almost €14m for Heraty and Carroll in a year.

Dublin on Zurich's top tier

Patrick Manley, the boss of the Irish operations of insurer Zurich, has secured a seat on the main management board of the Swiss financial services company. It's a recognition that Dublin plays a huge role in the wider group. The company's entire European life assurance operations are run out of Dublin, headed by Manley. As the Sunday Tribune reported a few weeks ago, Zurich is eyeing up taking a greater share of the Irish insurance market and is very much in the running to take over Sean Quinn's stricken insurance division, which is currently in administration.

Time for a pint

Superquinn chairman Simon Burke had a comfortable re-election to the board of UK pub group Mitchells & Butlers last Thursday.

Burke, the former boss of toy store Hamleys, was one of four directors who joined Mitchells & Butler last year at the request of Joe Lewis, a close associate of John Magnier's Coolmore gang. Lewis has been agitating for a change in strategy at the company for some time and used his large shareholding to have Burke and three other directors installed on the board in 2010.

But at last week's annual general meeting Burke didn't need the votes of Lewis to retain his seat with about 98% of Mitchells & Butlers' shareholders agreeing to his re-election. As senior independent director, Burke is leading the search for a new chairman for the company. Having stepped down from day-to-day running of Superquinn in the last few weeks, Burke now has the time on his hands if his fancies the job himself.

DIY meets the markets

Michael Chadwick, the founder of DIY group Grafton, has been slowly building up a stake in Wellington Markets, which operates town markets in England and Wales. Chadwick has been a director of the company for several years now and last week upped his stake in the company to nearly 20%, according to a regulatory filing.

Wellington is a tiny company listed on London's Plus stock market and its prize asset is the famous Spitalfields market in east London. Outdoor markets may seem a quaint idea but there is money in the business. Wellington turned over more than €3m in the first half of 2010 and despite a difficult time for the retail industry, it managed to break even.