THE “shareholder spring” of activism against inflated boardroom pay and bonuses has failed to stop the remuneration of Britain’s blue-chip company finance directors busting the £1 million barrier.
The news comes as a separate report also published today reveals that national salary growth remains flat, registering zero per cent annually and month-on-month in May.
Finance directors at Britain’s 100 biggest publicly-quoted firms saw base pay and cash bonuses jump 9.5 per cent in 2011, notes the survey from Incomes Data Services (IDS), in a year when inflation fluctuated between 3 per cent and 5 per cent.
The median total salary and bonuses income of the finance directors came in at £1,068,000.
Increases in remuneration in the FTSE 100 were driven by large bonuses, which ran at an average £588,500. When long-term incentive plans and share options are factored in, remuneration was even greater, with finance directors’ average total earnings for last year reaching £1,635,632.
Adam Cohen, author of the IDS report, said: “The ‘shareholder spring’ has seen executive remuneration in the spotlight once again. While salary rises in the FTSE 100 have been modest, bonuses, which account for a greater proportion of pay, have increased much more strongly.”
The survey notes that some companies “have felt under pressure to build more attractive bonuses into pay packages for finance directors in order to retain them, or to entice highly skilled finance directors away from their existing positions” with other firms.
Finance directors of Aim and fledgling companies did noticeably less well than their FTSE 100 counterparts, their total cash and bonus package increases rising 3.6 per cent and 0.9 per cent respectively.
IDS said that FTSE 100 salary rises remained muted, with basic pay increasing at a median 2.4 per cent, while the average bonus payment was equal to 127 per cent of salary in the last year. The average basic salary for a smaller Aim-quoted company finance director was £130,000.
Meanwhile, the Reed Job Index today reveals new job vacancies lifted 5 per cent last month compared with the previous month, and was 17 per cent higher against May 2011.
The index, which measures conditions and trends in the jobs market, found decent growth in more than 70 per cent of the nation’s employment sectors. Vacancies in health and medicine rose 22 per cent, charity and voluntary vacancies were up 19 per cent, and education up 18 per cent.
Ten of the UK’s 12 regions showed increasing job growth, including Scottish vacancies up 7 per cent, East Midlands up 10 per cent, and south west of England up 7 per cent. Opportunities in London rose 5 per cent.
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