The first 40 major companies to publish their annual reports revealed that chief executive pay is falling.
Analysis of the FTSE 100 members by professional services firm PwC showed that 42.5% of their CEOs did not get a pay rise.
The Telegraph reports that the study found that the median total pay figure (including bonuses) fell by 4.7% to £4.1m, a sign that companies are heeding complaints that pay has become excessive.
A bigger drop was seen among the highest-paid quartile of CEOs, who saw total pay fall 13%.
Remuneration for chief executives has become a major issue in the past year, both for shareholders and politicians. The government’s consultation green paper included proposals to boost transparency on pay with the publication of pay ratios, while investment managers have been queueing up to make their views public that pay should be brought under control.
The CEO of Next, the UK high-street clothing retailer, has seen his pay package fall by as much as 55%, while Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has made clear it wants to see long-term incentive plans (LTIPs) phased out.
Energy giant BP cut the pay of chief executive Bob Dudley by 40%. The company’s remuneration committee chairman Ann Dowling said in a report: “I have consulted widely with shareholders and listened to and sought to act on their concerns, and have been sensitive to developments in the society in which we work.”
Tom Gosling, head of reward at PwC, told The Telegraph that the research findings represent continued shareholder pressure on companies whose pay settlements are considered “outliers”.
The study looked at companies with year ends on or after 30 September, and found that basic pay rises were also down from last year’s snapshot of 3% to 2% this year.