EU CEOs’ base salaries stand at £1.14m

The median base salary of chief executive officers (CEOs) across Europe is €1.325 (£1.14) million, according to research by Fit Remuneration Consultants.

Its survey, which examined pay practices within the FTSE Eurotop 100 (the 100 largest European employers by market capitalisation), found that 45% of CEOs in this group received no salary increase in the past year.

The research also found:

  • The median maximum bonus across the whole of the Eurotop 100 is 200% of base salary for all executives.
  • Germany has the highest median figure at 342% of base salary for CEOs.
  • 57 organisations have disclosed that they operate bonus deferral.
  • The largest long-term incentive awards are made in the UK, followed by employers in France and Switzerland.
  • Performance share plans are the most common approach to long-term incentives.
  • Market value share options remain quite common in mainland Europe.
  • French, Dutch and Nordic organisations pay lower levels of total remuneration, with the highest-paid executives found in Spain, Switzerland and the UK.
  • The median level of total target remuneration for CEOs was €6.6 million, excluding pensions and other benefits.

John Lee (pictured), managing partner at Fit, said: “It’s not surprising that most European countries are legislating on executive pay.

“Practice is mixed as to the approaches being adopted, with some countries, notably the Netherlands and Switzerland, taking a harder line than others.

“That said, two general trends which can be identified are more disclosure of exactly how, and how much, executives are paid and some form of annual shareholder vote on this pay.”