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Pay growth slows for FTSE 100 directors, finds IDS


Bonuses frozen for many, and falling for some but FTSE-100 CEOs still see a median 8.5% earnings rise, according to the Incomes Data Service (IDS).

FTSE-100 chief executives' earnings growth has slowed down to 8.5% at the median, although the average rise of 14% signals that a minority continued to receive substantial increases.

The latest median and average increase figures are much lower than found in the IDS Directors' Pay Report 2011 published last October.

Much of the slowdown can be attributed to a drop in the scale of bonus payments, which fell by 2% last year to a median of £669,000 for FTSE-100 directors.

IDS explains that the slowdown in executive earnings growth may be down to both a worsening economy and a combination of government, shareholder and media pressure.

Steve Tatton, editor of the IDS report, said: "Overall earnings are slowing down for FTSE-100 directors, while bonus payments have either stalled or gone into reverse.

"While the 'shareholder spring' has attracted a lot of attention recently, our analysis suggests that the pay packets for chief executives were already starting to reflect sentiment among shareholders and the wider public in the second half of 2011. There are definite signs of cooling off in executive pay awards.

"Remuneration committee members have now realised that their decisions will be scrutinised very closely by shareholders and the media. Shareholders are demanding to know what they are paying for. No longer, it appears, do remuneration committees and directors have a free hand, in the words of some, „to pay themselves what they wish?."

The growth in total earnings can be largely attributed to money earned through long-term incentives and matched bonus shares based on past performance. Although only a minority of FTSE-100 directors received matched bonus shares, the median value went up by 18.1% to £473,302.

Directors at FTSE-100 companies received a slightly lower median earnings increase than CEOs, up 7.8%, while across the FTSE 350 as a whole the median rise for all directors was 7.7%.