Pay for executives of the 100 biggest German companies grew 23% faster than their FTSE 100 counterparts in 2007, according to new research.
A study by information provider Incomes Data Services (IDS) found that DAX 100 executives netted an average 10.5% salary rise last year, compared to 8.1% for FTSE 100 executives.
The average salary for DAX 100 lead executives in 2007 was £505,997 per year, against £737,537 per year for the FTSE 100.
As the market for top boardroom talent becomes increasingly globalised, IDS said the pressure has mounted on German companies to close the pay gap between themselves and their foreign competitors.
Adam Elston, assistant editor at IDS Executive Compensation Review, said: “German companies are competing for senior talent in a market that is seen as increasingly globalised. European firms now benchmark pay against international peer groups in their own industries, rather than against domestic rivals. This is fuelling a much more rapid pay spiral.
“Executive remuneration is a contentious issue in the UK, where reports of ‘fat cat’ pay can make headlines, but that’s not deterred German companies from increasing pay for top management at a significantly faster rate and closing the pay gap on the UK.”
About a third of FTSE 100 chief executives are not British, with the proportion of German companies run by foreigners at about a sixth, compared to none 10 years ago.