Antonio Horta-Osorio, CEO of Lloyds Banking Group, has raised £3.6m by selling 6.75m of his shares in Lloyds and is using the proceeds to help buy a house in London.
The banker has been renting a home in Chelsea since becoming Lloyds CEO in 2011 but has now decided to buy, the reports add, although the location and value of his new home have not been disclosed. The sale leaves Horta-Osorio with 21.2m Lloyds shares worth around £10.9m based on their current value.
The reports say that this suggests Horta-Osario plans on staying as Lloyds’ CEO for the foreseeable future rather than returning to Brazil or his native Portugal.
Horta-Osorio is widely credited with returning Lloyds to good financial health and private ownership, after its spell under UK Government ownership since the 2008 financial crisis. However, he has come under criticism for his pay package, earning an estimated £51m since becoming CEO and his pension benefits, whilst Lloyds has reduced pension benefits for its staff.
Horta-Osorio’s latest transactions in shares and property could well attract further criticism that he has not only benefitted massively from Lloyds period under public ownership, but is also now cashing in on the weakness of the London housing market. Some pundits, however, suggest Lloyds shares are currently undervalued and will rise once Brexit eventually happens, so disposing of shares now may not actually be such a shrewd move.