The Church of England has reportedly handed out a large bonus to investment director Tom Joy last year despite falling short of its investment return target.
According to Third Sector, the Church paid Joy £264,000 (US$356,499) and gave him a bonus of £251,000 (US$339,051), resulting in a full pay packet of £515,000 (US$695,664).
The bonus received by Joy came as the Church had failed to reach its 9.1 percent target on its return on investment in 2017.
The latest financial report from the Church Commissioners had shown that the church's return on investment last year had only reached 7.1 percent, a significant drop from last year's 17.1 percent.
According to Daily Mail, Joy's bonus increased by 24 percent from last year, while his salary increased by £5,000 (US$6.753). The total payout makes Joy the fifth biggest earner in the charity sector, according to Third Sector.
The Church Commissioners annual report, published last week, also showed that nine asset managers were paid a total of £986,000 (US$1.3 million) in bonuses last year.
The report also indicated that the Church's investment fund had grown from £7.9 billion (US$10.67 billion)to £8.3 billion (US$11.21 billion). The overall income of the Church Commission also increased from £159.6 million (US$215.56) in 2016 to £167.3 million (US$225.96) in 2017.
The large bonus to the charity heads was paid even as the Most Rev. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, had called on private companies to refrain from handing out large bonuses.
In 2013, Welby had suggested that the bonuses handed out by HSBC were excessive. "It seems to me you are putting huge effort into a values-based organisation and yet ... you seem to be saying the only way you can motivate them to any significant extent is with cash," he said, according to Daily Mail.
The latest report also showed how the Church Commission votes in Annual General Meetings (AGM) to prevent excessive bonuses in other companies.
"The Commissioners and Pensions Board vote in over 2,500 company meetings each year. In 2017, we voted against 50 per cent of remuneration packages in the UK," the report stated, according to Third Sector.
A spokeswoman for the Church Commissioners for England defended the large bonuses to charity heads, saying it is "entirely consistent" with its policy as it applies to other companies.
"The payment is largely made up of long-term incentive payments that are assessed over a five-year period. These payments are paid out on the sixth year at 75 per cent and the remaining 25 per cent over the next two years," she said, according to Third Sector.
She further stressed that the bonuses are not based on this year's performance, but the past year's.