The average pay of bosses in Britain’s Ftse 100 rose more than 10% in 2015 to an average of £5.5m (€6.48m), according to a survey that is likely to reinforce a drive by UK prime minister Theresa May to curb excessive pay.
Britain’s new prime minister has denounced as irrational and unhealthy the yawning gap between the amounts paid to bosses and those paid to the average worker, vowing to better align incentives with the interests of companies.
A survey by the High Pay Centre said the average Ftse 100 chief executive’s pay package hit £5.48m in 2015, up from £4.96m in 2014, meaning CEOs now earn 140 times more than their employees on average.
The survey said Ftse CEO pay had now risen by 33% since 2010.
“There is apparently no end yet in sight to the rise and rise of Ftse 100 CEO pay packages,” director Stefan Stern said.
“The High Pay Centre was delighted by Theresa May’s recent intervention on this issue. There now seems to be political will and momentum behind attempts to reform top pay,” Mr Stern said.
The country has seen a resurgence in investor activism in the last year, with several Ftse 100 bosses criticised at annual general meetings for taking ever larger pay deals at a time of weak economic growth.
Ms May, who became prime minister in July, used a speech before she took office to set out her plans for the economy, arguing that it did not work for everyone in society and needed to be reformed.
Her proposals included making shareholder votes on corporate pay binding.
According to the survey, the three highest paid bosses in the blue-chip index were WPP’s Martin Sorrell, Tony Pidgeley at housebuilder Berkeley and Rakesh Kapoor at Reckitt Benckiser.
The £70m pay package awarded to Mr Sorrell was one of the biggest in British history.
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