Updates from BP and Alliance Trust

A 0.19% bump for the FTSE 100 on Thursday, climbing 13 points to 6,788.4. Aviva was the biggest climber, soaring more than 8% to 504p with Schroders also climbing strongly, up 5.29% to 2727p. IMI saw the biggest drift down, slipping 4.33% to 1481p.

The Dow Jones rose almost 62 points to 16,421, buoyed by lower unemployment numbers. %VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
We start with news that BP boss Bob Dudley saw his pay packet soar to £5.2m last year, despite BP profits plunging. Dudley racked up a $2.3m cash bonus on top of a base salary of $1.8m last year. His total pay hit $8.7m including performance related shares.

The figures have drawn fire from some investors. "We are not happy with this salary increase," one investor told the FT. "Mr Dudley is extremely well incentivised. It sends the wrong message to shareholders and to staff, many of whom will have low pay increases."

BP has seen a 22% slump in profits. Full-year profits slipped by more than a fifth to $13.4bn last year as Dudley expended efforts on restructuring the company.

Next, final numbers from Alliance Trust. There's a NAV Total Return of 18.4% and Total Shareholder Return of 22.7% - the best absolute returns for three and eight years claims Alliance. The total dividend for the year climbs to 10.83p, an increase of 12.5%.

The equity portfolio generated a gross return of over 21%. Alliance Trust Savings made its first full year profit for eight years; assets under administration climbed 33% to £5.4bn for the year.

"As a whole," says chief exec Katherine Garrett-Cox, "the business has delivered capital growth and a significantly increased level of income and I am confident that all parts of the business are now better placed to be able to compete effectively in their respective markets."

Finally, board changes at annuity specialist Partnership Assurance: Simon Waugh and Paul Bishop are being appointed to the Board as Non-Executive Directors says Partnership while Robin Phipps will step down from the Board today to focus on other non-exec roles.

Marisa Cassoni, whose intention to step down from the Board was announced on 19 December 2013, will also leave the Board on 11 March 2014 says the company.

Paul Bishop's appointment will be effective 1 May 2014. "Bishop," says Partnership Assurance, "has spent the majority of his career at KPMG, and from 1993 to the end of January 2014 was a Partner apart from a brief period when he was employed at Atos KPMG Consulting.""

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