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Daily Telegraph: Highest paid chief executives

1 June 2004

The top two this year are little-known characters outside the City but the size of their pay packets do bear some resemblance to their companies' performance.

Bart Becht has quietly made the top ten in each of our previous surveys and crowns a successful year for Reckitt Benckiser by beating Stanley Fink to the top post. New entry Matt Barrett started his time as chief executive at Barclays by telling the Treasury Select Committee he was loth to borrow on his Barclaycard. Judging by the size of his salary, Mr Barrett should have little need to use credit in the coming years.

Another newcomer is BT's chief Ben Verwaayen, who took over from Sir Peter Bonfield in 2002. Since then, the telecom giant's share price has fallen 33pc but this has not prevented the Dutchman leaping into our top ten.

Highest paid finance directors

Their names may not be as striking their bosses' but their salaries certainly are. The fortunes of the calculator men tend to follow those of their bosses.

Peter Clarke is the highest-paid finance director for a second year running. His basic salary is just 279,000 but Mr Clarke picked up 1.7m in bonuses. Man Group's dominance of the world of hedge funds may justify the price tag it pays for its three executive directors - the other, Kevin Davis, was paid 2.13m this year.

Spots five and six are held by tobacco number-crunchers. Imperial has had a wheeze in recent years, with the share price rising from 322p in 2000 to around 12.60 but profits at BAT have slumped and Paul Rayner will be hoping sales start smoking next year. Fred Watt is the only RBS director to make the list this year after the entire board took pay cuts.

Highest paid chairmen

Four new entries this year after the abrupt departure of three of the chart's mainstays. David Reid, chairman at Tesco, takes top place with a pay packet that dwarfs even that of last year's leader Luc Vandevelde, the Marks & Spencer chairman who is soon to bid farewell to the retailer.

There's no disputing Tesco's success in the past year but even the delighted shareholders queried Mr Reid's pay arrangements, which also saw his pension pot soar by more than 50pc to 8m in the last financial year. They were doubtless relieved to hear his 'sacrifice' of a special 430,000 bonus 'in return for pension augmentation'.

Martin Broughton will this month leave BAT to take up a non-executive position at British Airways. His salary last year was top flight, rising 27pc while BAT's pre-tax profits plunged by a similar percentage to 1.57billion.

Charles Brady's salary has plummeted since it hit 3m two years ago, although not as fast as Amvescap's shares.

Biggest pension pots

Given that the number of people losing their pension ballooned after the turn of the millennium, isn't it reassuring to discover at least some of us will retire with a golden nest egg?

The top five in our chart really do have over 13m each in their pension pots and can look forward to more than the occasional Saga holiday and round of golf. Clearly heading in the right direction, the top brass at Compass, the catering group, will also be able to dine out in style for many years.

Having spent just 10 years at the company, Michael Bailey must also be pleased that his pot is close to overtaking that of Sir Francis, who can boast an extra seven years of service.

Special mention should go to Sir Philip Watts. The former Shell chairman may have left the oil giant under a cloud but enjoyed a 26pc increase in his pension to 10.01m - just outside our top ten.

Gone but not forgotten

A new category to include some of the best-paid executives who left the boardroom. Our figures show total pay as listed in the annual report.

While some executives, such as Barry Clare, had their pay inflated by compensation payments being included in final salaries, others, like Sir Philip Watts, have yet to agree their settlements and some compensation payments were not included at all.

Brian Gilbertson may have spent just six months at the helm of mining giant BHP Billiton but still picked up a king's ransom on departure. Sir Christopher Gent and Tony Ball both left their companies in good shape, and were amply rewarded. Boots' Barry Clare enjoyed one of the City's biggest golden goodbyes after just four months, picking up a 1.7m payoff, 530,000 of which was compensation. ITV's Michael Green scooped a 1.8m payoff and 13.2m-worth of shares, on top of his 1.38m salary.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2004/06/01/ccpay101.xml

 


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