Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Top bosses earn more than the Maldives

Here's something for Britain's top bosses to chew over, as they jet off to their tropical islands.

The top directors of FTSE 100 companies collectively earned £515m last year - comfortably exceeding the annual gross domestic product of holiday paradises such as the Maldives and Seychelles.
Executives' average pay reached a healthy £1.2m a head, management consultants Hay Group said.

The bumper harvest will leave fat cats plenty of spare change for yacht upgrades and scuba diving expeditions. But as Hay points out, the eyewatering figure 'barely registers' compared with annual FTSE 100 revenues of £1trillion.

Simon Garrett, of Hay, said: 'When you consider their impact and the value their companies add to the UK economy you have to conclude that, on aggregate, these executives represent pretty good value for money.'

Some may beg to differ. At the start of the last decade the number of million-pound execs in Britain registered only in the single digits. Since then, pay has shot up at a breakneck rate, as British firms struggle to keep pace with the super-sized awards across the Atlantic.

Basic director salaries rose 7% last year alone, Hay's calculations reveal. Top earners include Glaxo boss JP Garnier, who triggered a shareholder revolt with his multi-million package in 2003.

Yesterday, it emerged he netted £1.3m after exercising share options on August 3 and 6. Meanwhile, in the real world, salaries for workers are also picking up, a separate survey shows.

Permanent staff pay is rising at its fastest pace for nine years, the Recruitment and Employment Federation and KPMG said.

That will send a shiver down the spines of Bank of England policy makers, who are searching for signs of inflation in wage claims. They release their economic forecasts today.

Source: This is

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