UK managers are among Europe’s best paid

UK
managers are among the best paid in Europe, but this is probably due to the
high concentration of company HQ’s in the country.

A
Watson Wyatt report looking at compensation trends for senior executives across
17 western European countries shows the best paid top managers – chief
executives and general managers – in Europe are based in the UK, Switzerland,
Germany, Belgium and Austria.

In
these five countries, chief executives and general managers of companies with
€100m turnovers have an average gross annual total remuneration in excess of
€170,000. Similar top managers in Finland, Greece, Sweden, Portugal and
Luxembourg have the lowest average gross annual earnings, at less than
€150,000.

Annual
total remuneration includes bonuses and other incentives, and in some countries
a higher proportion of earnings are typically ‘at risk’. The top five countries
with the highest rates of basic pay for top managers – more than  €135,000 – are Switzerland, Germany, the UK,
Norway and Belgium.

Anne
Severeyns, a senior consultant at Watson Wyatt in Brussels, warned that while
international comparisons are interesting, they should be treated with caution
because of exchange rates and the effect of other factors such as tax and the
cost of living in different countries.

"There
is also a trend towards multinationals having the most senior positions in a
small group of key countries in western Europe, and larger operations in those
countries," she said. "To some extent, it is not so much that jobs
are more highly paid in some countries, but that the jobs themselves in those
countries are ‘bigger’."

By Quentin Reade

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