UK top managers among highest paid in Europe

Top
managers in the UK are among the best paid in Europe, research finds.

According
to a Watson Wyatt report, general managers, heads of function and domestic
heads in the UK and Switzerland are the highest paid out of the 17 western
European countries surveyed.

Managers
in these two nations earn on average over EUR 260,000 in annual total
remuneration, while those in Greece, Norway and Sweden, who are paid the least,
average annual total remuneration of less than EUR 180,000.

The
study, which looks at compensation trends across Europe, also finds that
salaries of senior managers are expected to rise fastest in Greece and Ireland
during 2003.

Watson
Wyatt’s Top Management Compensation Report shows average expected increases in
2003 for top managers in Greece to be 6.0 per cent and 5.8 per cent in Ireland.

The
lowest expected increases – at 3.3 per cent – are in France and Switzerland.
The expected average salary increase for senior managers in the UK is 4 per
cent.

"Such
international comparisons 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," said Anne Severeyns, a senior consultant at Watson
Wyatt in Brussels.

"There
is also a trend towards multinationals having the most senior positions in a
small group of key countries in Western Europe and also having larger
operations in those countries. 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 Ben Willmott

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