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Senior executives awarded significant base pay increases according to latest Remuneration Survey

Australia’s top companies rewarded executives with generous pay increases over the past year, according to the latest annual Remuneration Survey from Governance Institute of Australia in partnership with McGuirk Remuneration and Directors Australia.  

Australia’s top companies rewarded executives with generous pay increases over the past year, according to the latest annual Remuneration Survey from Governance Institute of Australia in partnership with McGuirk Remuneration and Directors Australia.  

Around half of all board directors received increased in fixed remuneration. Listed and private sector directors received average increase of between 8 and 9%. 

The 2024 Report surveyed 1089 boards from across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, including 223 listed companies. It also draws on publicly available data. 

About three-quarters of C-suite executives received remuneration boosts. Among them, ASX executives experienced the highest percentage increase at 7.1 per cent. These adjustments reflect the dynamic nature of executive compensation and the need to attract top talent. 

Governance Institute CEO Megan Motto FGIA FCG said senior leaders of publicly listed companies are likely being remunerated for successes as the ASX reaches all-time highs. 

“Executives are clearly being compensated for delivering profits and returns for shareholders and are making the most of a competitive market for top talent.” Ms Motto said.     

“Balancing rewards for performance with fairness and transparency is crucial. Companies must provide robust justifications for significant executive pay raises.” 

The report also found increases to performance bonuses with roughly half of MDs and CEOs were eligible to receive bonuses. MDs received an average maximum bonus of 89 per cent, while CEOs enjoyed an impressive 93 per cent bonus on average. 

On the not-for-profit front, executive salaries rose by an average of 7 per cent. CPI was the main contributor to increases in the NFP sector while organisational performance was the main metric for base pay rises for unlisted and private companies.  

General staff at not-for-profit organisations also received the highest average percentage increase of fixed salary at 5.4 per cent when compared to other companies. Unlisted companies received the lowest percentage increase of 4.8 per cent.  

Company participation for board activities stood out. On the question of how many days a year did organisations spend on board activities, ASX-listed companies were found to spend approximately 40 days per year on board work. 

In contrast, private organisations spend 17 days, unlisted organisations spend 20 days, and NFP organisations spend 26 days. That includes meetings, preparation, strategy sessions, and stakeholder events. 

 

Other highlights include:  

  • The average fixed remuneration of an ASX 200 Managing Director is $1.88m, up from $1.58m last year. 
  • The average fixed remuneration of an ASX 200 CEO is $1.37m, up from $1.14m last year. 
  • Consultant benchmarking was the key criterion for fixed remuneration increases for executives of listed companies 

 

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