THE chief executive of York-headquartered house builder Persimmon has announced he is setting up a charitable trust amid controversy surrounding his record £110 million bonus.

Last year Persimmon’s chairman Nicholas Wrigley revealed he would be stepping down after failing to cap the company’s pay scheme, which led to a bonus package totalling £500 million for the company’s directors.

Among those receiving record payouts was chief executive Jeff Fairburn, who took home a nine-figured sum.

The bonus, which included £86 million for finance chief Mike Killoran, and £48 million for group managing director Dave Jenkinson, came in the form of share options, 40 per cent of which could be sold immediately.

After an angry backlash from investors, which also resulted in the resignation of remuneration committee chairman Jonathan Davie, Mr Fairburn yesterday issued a “personal statement”, setting out his plans for the money.

He said: “I recognise and profoundly regret that Persimmon’s strong performance over the last few years is being eclipsed by the controversy surrounding the 2012 LTIP award.

“Persimmon’s success as a business and the uncapped nature of the Scheme has meant that the value of these awards has become very large.

“The introduction of the Scheme pre-dates my appointment as chief executive and I would like to make it clear that I did not seek these levels of award nor do I consider it right to keep them entirely for myself.

“Once it became apparent that our outperformance would lead to a very significant award for me, I made plans to use a substantial proportion of the total to support the charities that are particularly important to me and my family.

“But, in what might be considered to be an old-fashioned approach, I believed that this was a personal matter and that I would be able to do this privately. It’s now clear that this belief was misplaced and so I am making my plans public and recognise that I should have done so sooner.

“I am setting up a private Charitable Trust which I plan to use to benefit wider society over a sustained period of time by supporting, in a very meaningful way, my chosen charities.

“I hope that this statement will clarify my position as we continue our mission to build the high quality, affordable family homes that Britain so badly needs. I am proud of what Persimmon has achieved under my tenure as CEO and after 28 years’ service there is much more that I still hope to do. I look forward to building the business further in the coming years.”