The most senior woman at Royal Bank of Scotland is to retire from the US operations of the bailed out bank in October – and could walk away with millions of pounds.
Ellen Alemany is the highest paid executive reporting to the chief executive, Stephen Hester, and received £4.8m in 2012. The 57-year-old will be leaving the Citizens arm, which is to be prepared for a partial stock market flotation by the finance director, Bruce van Saun.
Precise payments to Alemany, who was hired by Hester's predecessor Fred Goodwin, may never be revealed as she does not sit on the board. Her current pay is also not disclosed directly but an analysis of stock exchange announcements appears to indicate that she has a salary of £1.7m – more than Hester's £1.2m.
Her contract terms are not known and the bank declined to comment on whether she could be in line for a year's salary and other bonuses granted to her in previous years after she retires in October.
Van Saun, a key hire for Hester following the bank's £45bn bailout, is to return to his native US to become chairman and chief executive of Citizens, which RBS is floating off because of pressure to focus the bailed out bank on domestic UK operations.
The current head of risk, Nathan Bostock, is to replace Van Saun as finance director and join the bank's board, while Bostock's deputy, David Stephen, is to be promoted to head of risk.
Loss-making RBS only has to provide detailed information about the pay of board directors and did not immediately disclose the package for Bostock ,who is thought to have received £3.1m last year. Van Saun received £1.7m, including a £750,000 salary, and his pay for his new role at Citizens was not announced.
Bostock, who joined RBS in 2009 from Santander, had resigned in 2011 to join Lloyds Banking Group – rejoining his former Santander boss António Horta-Osório. But he rescinded his resignation while Horta-Osório was on sick leave. Hester said that Stephen, who joined RBS in 2010, had been hired with a view to succeed Bostock.
Bostock, Alemany and three other RBS directors below board level could be in line for bonuses next week. They will learn how many shares they will receive under a bonus award from 2010 which runs until 14 May.
If Alemany was to receive all the shares she was awarded three years ago she would get £1.8m. Bostock is in line for £1m and Ron Teerlink, head of business services who is expected to leave in the coming weeks, could receive £850,000.
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