Airey's Monument shares and options were worth almost £2.8m when she swapped them for shares in rival Lasmo, following the merger in May, according to the Mail on Sunday survey, 'Britain's 100 highest paid women'. The rest of her £3.3m earnings came from her £179,000 salary package and redundancy pay, a wealth that put her above supermodel Kate Moss and actress Liz Hurley. Eleven years ago, Airey left stockbrokers County NatWest, where she was a rising star, to become FD at Nimex Resources and subsequently Monument, following its acquisition of Nimex's subsidiaries. Her main contribution to growth at the oil company was to ensure about £200m was available to finance the exploitation of new gas and oil fields in the mid-1990s. At the time of the merger, Airey stood down to make way for Lasmo FD Paul Murray, who is her partner in private life. The couple were forced to put the Chinese walls principle to the ultimate test during the multimillion pound negotiations, as they share a house in Islington, North London. The merger created a £2bn company, just smaller than Enterprise, the UK's leading independent oil company. Listed above Airey in the Top 100 list is Ann Gloag, sister of the UK's richest accountant, Brian Souter. The brother and sister team are co-founders of transport company Stagecoach. Gloag was listed 12th, with a personal fortune of £4.1m. Airey was 15th.
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