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Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2009 article


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MANAGEMENT   |   AUGUST 18, 2009

U.K. Companies Fall in Value, But Directors' Pay Holds Up

[u.k. directors pay]  

The study is likely to renew recent calls from shareholder activists, unions and politicians for scrutiny of executives' pay packages. While bonuses weren't as high as they could have been, they typically were valued at 90% of the executives' salaries, according to research by consultants Hewitt New Bridge Street.

The FTSE 100 Index's total market capitalization, meanwhile, fell by 420.8 billion to 1.023 trillion in the 12 months to April 1, the index provider said.

The typical FTSE 100 chief executive's pay package has increased by about 45% over the past six years, while the FTSE 100 has increased by about 7%, Hewitt said. Average maximum total pay possible in the past year was 3.1 million, compared with the median of 2.6 million, for the FTSE 100's top directors.

Hewitt said the most common bonus potential was 150% of the salary in the 2008-to-2009 financial year and so the best-paid directors, which are usually the chief executives, actually on average earned 65% of their maximum last year.

This was a fall from 2007/08 when the FTSE 100 directors earned 110% of their salaries, or 80% of the potential on offer, Hewitt said.

Variable pay, such as bonuses, which can be in the form of deferred stock options, make up about 60% of a typical executive director's remuneration and both the median and average salary was 802,000, Hewitt said, adding about 60% of the FTSE 100 had frozen salaries for the year.

British shareholders have been complaining more vociferously than before about remuneration.

Write to James Mawson at


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