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Huge salary disparity between owner, professional CEOs: Study

Report says average CEO remuneration for the BSE 500 companies has gone up in the last four years by 25%

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

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The owner CEOs of Indian companies get much higher salaries than their professional peers, while the top management pay in private sector is also much higher than their public sector counterparts, a study said today.

Among other findings of the Executive Remuneration study, conducted by shareholder advisory firm, Institutional Investor Advisory Services India Limited (IiAS), the highest paying companies are not necessarily the most profitable or the largest in terms of market value.

"At a time when the global markets plagued by a prolonged slowdown are stumbling towards recovery, public scrutiny and criticism of high executive remuneration is getting sharper.

"In India, while there have been some isolated cases of discontent regarding executive pay this umbrage is nowhere close to the 'say-on-pay' movement that is rocking US and Europe," IiAS said in the study.

As per the study, the average remuneration for the BSE 500 companies has gone up in the last four years by 25 per cent, which is largely in line with increase in profitability.

This is primarily because of the two-part remuneration structure prevalent in most companies which comprises a fixed pay along with a variable component, but the pay is relatively on higher side at several companies, IiAS said.

"There is a substantial gap between salaries of owner CEOs and professional executives. For family owned businesses, where multiple family members are on the board, their combined remuneration tends to be on the higher side and in one case constituted almost 70 per cent of the total staff costs.

"The pay disparity between the public sector and private sector has grown over the last few years. For the BSE 100 companies, while the public sector executives were paid an average remuneration of Rs 51 lakh FY11, their private sector peers were paid Rs 6.89 crore," it found.

The study also showed that the gap between average employee and is very high, with salaries being as high as 285-times of average staff salary and 85-times of the median employee pay.

IiAS said that the average annual Managing Director remuneration in FY12 for Sensex companies was Rs 10.9 crore, while the same for BSE100 and BSE500 companies stood at Rs 6.2 crore and Rs 3.6 crore, respectively.

However, this was well below the average remuneration of Rs 28 crore or $5.3 million for the S&P500 companies -- the top 500 listed companies in the US.

Even after adjusting for purchasing power parity, the average CEO remuneration in India is almost three-fold for the top 500 companies in the US.

First Published: Wed, May 08 2013. 20:38 IST