The new guy is well-aware you don't make friends with salad and/or enormous packages (base pay/pensions/etc excepted).
Ross McEwan, who joined RBS a year ago to run the bank's retail arm, will take over from Stephen Hester – who was parachuted in to run the bank following its £45bn taxpayer bailout in 2008 – on 1 October. In an attempt to avoid a furore over his pay, McEwan immediately waived his annual bonus for the rest of 2013 and for 2014. His bonuses from 2015 onwards will be linked to the share price the taxpayer paid for its 81% stake in the bank. His salary is less than the £1.2m his predecessor received. Sir Philip Hampton, the RBS chairman, said the New Zealander, who has had a varied career in finance, waived his bonus as "gesture". However McEwan's pay package is likely to escalate. Hampton said he will be awarded a "good commercial package" in the future...next August, McEwan will be in line for an award of up to £3m in shares under a long-term performance plan likely to run for three years. His "commercial" pay package will be thrashed out between now and the annual shareholder meeting next spring, when it will be put to a vote.
Hester will now leave at the end of September and described McEwan as a "person of integrity who has been a valued colleague over the past year". He had hired him from Australia at a cost of £3m, where had been working at Commonwealth Bank. "I promised him an adventure and I think he will accept that an adventure is what we've delivered," said Hester. Any bonus McEwan might have received for 2013, while was running the RBS retail bank, will now be deferred to 2017 and then only paid out subject to conditions "designed to allow taxpayers to gain value first". Each year he will get £350,000 for his pension.