Executive pay rises well above average

Pay rises for UK business executives have once again easily outstripped average salary increases across the nation.

The Executive Remuneration report by consultants Deloitte  found that the median basic salary increase last year for all full time executive directors in the FTSE 350 was 6.8%. This is up on the 6.5% in 2005 but down on the 7.1% of 2004.

The average increase in the UK’s seasonally adjusted average earnings was 3.9% in 2005.

Directors in the top 25% of positions reaped the biggest benefits, showing a 12% increase in their salaries.

Despite many companies claiming to push the diversity agenda, the number of female executives in FTSE 350 companies remains unchanged compared to last year.

Women’s representation on non-executive boards increase by 1%. Women now make up 3% of executive directors and one in ten non-executive directors.

Carol Arrowsmith, head of remuneration at Deloitte, said there was still a “huge gender imbalance in the boardroom”.

She added that a drop in the total number of executives represented on boards had affected women because the roles that were often removed from board-level representation tended to be functions such as human resources or marketing, where women have traditionally been better represented.

The report showed that the number of FTSE executive directors on main boards fell by 6.5% over the past 12 months, adding up to a 20% drop in the past four years.

The 2003 Higgs Combined Code of Corporate Governance placed a greater emphasis on independent non-executive directors.

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