Our new report shows that the FTSE 100 CEO pay increased from £2.46m in 2020 to £3.41m in 2021. Median CEO pay is now 109 times that of the median UK full-time worker, compared to 79 times in 2020 and 107 times in 2019. Median CEO pay also up on pre pandemic levels – reflected by an increase of 5% from £3.25m median CEO pay in 2019.
Pascal Soriot of AstraZeneca, last year’s highest paid CEO, was overtaken by Sebastien De Montessus of Endeavour, who earned £16.85m. Pascal Soriot earned £13.86m, followed by Albert Manifold of CRH, who earned £11.68m.
The ten FTSE 100 companies with the highest CEO pay were as follows:
Precious metals and mining
Sebastien De Montessus
Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Lloyds Banking Group
Antonio Horta Osorio, William Chalmers, Charlie Nunn (combined pay for time in post as CEO)
Investment Banking and Brokerage Services
Household Goods and Home Construction
(Unusually, the highest paid FTSE 250 CEO Frederic Vecchioli of Safestore, paid £17.06m, was paid more than any FTSE 100 CEO).
The analysis also found that:
- FTSE 100 firms spent nearly three quarters of a billion on executive pay, with £720.21m awarded to 224 executives.
- FTSE 250 CEOs saw a similar 38% pay increase, with median pay rising from £1.25m in 2020 to £1.72m in 2021.
- FTSE 100 CEOs annual bonuses leapt to £1.4m compared to £828k in 2020 and £1.1m in 2019. 90% of CEOs received a bonus.
This research raises questions around inequality, pay and responsible business practice in the UK. Very high executive pay is a big part of the cost of living problem. If large employers are paying millions more to already very wealthy executives, that makes it harder to fund pay increases for low and middle income workers. If incomes in the UK were shared more evenly, that would significantly raise the living standards of the people hit hardest by the current economic crisis.
Excessive CEO pay reflects widening inequality that is experienced across the UK more generally.
The High Pay Centre and TUC are calling for reforms to regulations affecting the corporate pay-setting process including
- Requirements for companies to include a minimum of two elected workforce representatives on the remuneration committees that set pay.
- Guaranteed trade union access to workplaces to tell workers about the benefits of union membership and collective bargaining.
- Requirements for companies to provide more detailed disclosure of pay for top earners beyond the executives, and low earners including indirectly employed workers, enabling more informed pay negotiations at individual companies and a clearer debate about pay inequality more generally.