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Fosters partners take home £23 million in bonuses

Foster + Partners' Partnership board
  • 16 Comments

Partners at Foster + Partners shared a £23.4 million bonus payment last year, up 43 per cent on the previous year, despite turnover, profits and staff numbers falling

The practice’s latest accounts reveal that during 2017/18, partners took home £20 million in a recently introduced scheme, plus £3.3 million going in social security payments.

This is a rise from £6.2 million and £800,000 respectively in the previous year.

According to the statement of accounts: ‘The partnership payment refers to a payment to all partners which, in addition to the annual bonus, is to be paid post year-end in recognition of services provided during the year.

‘Arising under the partnership plan set up in 2014, this is the second such payment and it is expected to be an annual occurrence in future, subject to meeting certain financial performance criteria.’

Fosters’ website currently lists 135 partners and senior partners on its website, which would mean that average payments to partners were £173,000.

The company’s five directors saw a total payout under a separate award scheme rise to £5.4 million – more than a million each on average – from £3.2 million the previous year.

The highest-paid director at the firm, presumed to be Norman Foster, received a £2.23 million payout, up from £1.2 million in 2016/17.

Overall, Fosters’ 2017/18 bill for employee costs bill fell from £81.3 million in the previous year to £74.3 million.

The firm is also proposing to pay a dividend of £20.46 per share to holders of C ordinary shares at a cost of £4.9 million.

This is significantly up on the 2016/17 payment of £6.14 per share – a £1.5 million payout.

Income at the practice fell from £245 million to £213 million over the year. This marks a 17 per cent reduction on the £257 million turnover posted in 2016.

The UK’s biggest architecture practice’s group accounts also reveal that pre-tax profits have fallen again. In 2018 the company made £20.8 million in profit, compared with £25.2 million the previous year and £28 million in 2016.

The practice’s annual statement also showed a reduction in the average headcount across the year from 1,425 in 2017 to 1,266 last year.

Although the company saw growth in Australasia, continental Europe and Asia, there was a decrease in workloads in the UK and North America, with significant drops in the both the Middle East and South America.

  • 16 Comments

Readers' comments (16)

  • EVERY person in that photograph is a MAN
    EVERY person in that photograph is a WHITE
    EVERY person in that photograph looks 50+

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  • To add to Gracie Fletcher's very relevant observation, His Lordship has also benefited from non-dom status for tax purposes for quite some time - not exactly 'doing his bit for the country' given the severe effects of the past eight years of austerity (possibly about to worsen, if the growing and informed predictions of the impacts of Brexit are to be believed).
    But he's not exactly down there with Sir Philip Green, either.

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  • Industry Professional

    I am sure that all the staff who habitually turn in all those late nights are all delighted with the way the profits are shared...................................
    It must be really worth it to have Foster and Partners on their CV.

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  • Industry Professional

    Hey Gracie, less of the ageism please.

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  • There was a time when they all wore white shirts too.

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  • Wonder how many £ that is per hour of overtime worked by each junior member of staff.

    The corporate culture puts immense pressure on young architects and architectural assistants earning 30-40k to slave away extra hours each night. The company makes a huge profit. The partners split that profit. Rinse. Repeat. Every now and then discard the used-up husks of burned out architects and replace with fresh meat.

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  • As long as the innovation and exciting buildings keep coming, they deserve it?

    Some of the partners not in the photo will be of different ages, colours, genders.

    Will it be ever thus......

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  • I’m gobsmacked that the issues Gracie Fletcher raises are not mentioned in the article itself. I’m almost as gobsmacked that Foster’s PR department are so witless as to allow the release of a photograph like that in connection with this (or any) news story. Perhaps this PR disaster will encourage the partners to reinvest some of their windfalls in diversity training sessions.

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  • Horrible choice of picture and article. No attempt whatsoever to shift from the status quo. Too much effort......or not enough reward?

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  • Don't worry Gracie! I can see four women working in the background, two at their desk and two possibly leaving work because they don't work as hard.

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