Incentive Pay Makes Top US CEOs and CFOs Best Paid in World, According to First-Ever Global 250 Survey
Hong Kong, January 7, 2019 – CEOs and CFOs of the largest US global companies are paid more than counterparts around the world because they earn larger incentive compensation based on performance, according to the inaugural 2018 Global Top 250 Compensation Survey of CEOs and CFOs from FW Cook, Inc., FIT Remuneration Consultants LLP and Pretium Partners Asia Limited.
“Total pay levels are higher in the Americas than in Europe & Australia or Asia, although a disproportionate share of total pay (91% for the CEO and 86% for the CFO) is tied to annual bonus and long-term incentives,” said David Cole, managing director of FW Cook, Inc.
He added that total direct compensation for CEOs in the Americas is typically above the global “average” level when adjusting for company size while annual bonus levels are higher than in the other regions for the CEO but are in line with Europe and Australia for CFOs.
According to John Lee of FIT, at the median, a significant portion of the total compensation package (69% for the CEO and 68% for the CFO in Europe & Australia) is tied to annual bonus and long-term incentives. This represents a smaller proportion than is the case in the Americas, with pay at median split almost evenly between base salary, annual bonus and long-term incentives in Europe & Australia.
“The Americas put a premium on incentive compensation in line with shareholder expectations, and the higher risk has historically been a justification for higher target pay.” said Lee. “In Europe & Australia, shareholder expectations over quantum has generally kept long-term incentives more modest.”
May Poon of Pretium said base salaries in Asia are often significantly below the global “average” level when adjusting for company size due to the state-owned nature of some companies.
“Annual bonus levels are lower than in the other regions for both the CEO and CFO, as bonuses are regulated in China and some senior executives in family-run businesses are also major shareholders of the company,” said Poon.
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About FW Cook, Inc.
FW Cook is an independent executive compensation consulting firm that provides objective advice to boards and management of the world’s leading companies. Our firm’s principle objective is to add value to the executive pay programs and processes of our clients. Our consultants collaborate with clients to solve complex problems and design programs that support their business strategy and successfully link executive pay to shareholder value. Founded in 1973, we serve public, private, and tax-exempt organizations across a broad spectrum of industries. With the largest market share of board engagements among our competitors, we currently serve over 750 clients. FW Cook’s offices are located in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, and Boston. To learn more about us or to join our mail list, visit us on the web at www.fwcook.com.
About FIT Remuneration Consultants LLP
FIT Remuneration Consultants LLP is one of Europe’s largest independent executive remuneration consultancies which advises a number of the world’s largest companies from its offices in London. We have supported the remuneration committees at some of Europe’s largest companies. FIT’s highly experienced consultants advise on all aspects of executive remuneration. Whether the subject is remuneration policy, incentive plan design, pay benchmarking, shareholder engagement, technical implementation, M&A, IPO support or Board governance, we have the resources, expertise and judgment to assist our clients so that they can make difficult but informed decisions on executive pay. To learn more about us or to join our mail list, visit us on the web at www.fit-rem.com.
About Pretium Partners Asia Limited
Pretium Partners is an independent management consulting firm that helps accelerate clients’ growth, increase profitability, and transform the company through effective reward, performance, and strategic human resources strategy. Pretium advises Asian clients on the people aspects during transformation, with reference to business needs, the latest market data, corporate governance trends and best practices. To learn more about us or to join our mail list, visit us on the web at www.pretium-asia.com.
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