Record remuneration of big bosses in France in 2021, according to Proxinvest

Record remuneration of big bosses in France in 2021, according to Proxinvest

This increase in wages can be explained by the performance achieved by large companies at the end of the health crisis.

The remuneration of the big bosses of the CAC 40 in France peaked at 7.9 million euros on average last year, according to a report released on Tuesday by shareholder advisory firm Proxinvest. The study finds”a strong increase in the median and average remuneration in all indices (CAC 40 and SBF 120, ed.). We are obviously on historical documents“said Jehanne Leroy, director of ESG research (environmental, social and governance criteria) during a video conference with the media.

They are driven by the excellent post-Covid results of companies in 2021, on which remuneration elements are indexed. The average total compensation of the heads of the CAC 40 index increased by 52%, while that of the executive presidents of the SBF 120 index composed of the 120 largest listed companies in France increased by 22% to reach 4.5 million euros . Either way, it’s unheard of for fifteen years.

“Carlos Tavares effect”

These 2021 data were obtained by comparing those of 2019, before the health crisis, and not against those of 2020 which is considered an unrepresentative year given that a certain number of executives had given up part of their salary. The increase is also explained by aeffect Carlos Tavares(the CEO of the French-Italian-American automotive group) Stellantis (Peugeot-Citroën-Fiat…)“, whose total compensation (fixed, variable, shareholder) has reached a record never seen by Proxinvest, at 66.7 million euros (19.15 million euros according to the company).

It is the first time in 15 years that a company has a total compensation of more than 50 million eurosaccording to the report. Carlos Tavares’ compensation was rejected on April 15 by Stellantis shareholders, but this vote was purely advisory in the Netherlands, where the company is based, unlike in France, where such a vote has been binding since 2018.

The difference between the car manufacturer’s data and those of Proxinvest can be explained by the use of different calculation methods, the sums corresponding to the multi-year remuneration are leveled over several years by Stellantis. To establish its ranking, the Proxinvest report takes into account all the elements of the remuneration: fixed, annual bonus, long-term multi-year remuneration, assignment of shares valued at the assignment date, benefits in kind, etc.

All of these things exploded last year. Average fixed remuneration increased by 4.2% and average annual bonus by 33.6% within the CAC 40, while the value of bonus performance share awards reached its all-time high in the SBF 120 with a leap by 39.6%.

Wage dispersion

And also “first time in eight years that average CAC 40 executive pay exceeds average employee pay by more than 100 times“, or 369 times the minimum wage on a 39-hour basis, according to the report which reveals a lower respect for the maximum socially acceptable remuneration (5.12 million euros) calculated by Proxinvest. In all there are 29 leaders who exceed this ceiling, against 14 in 2020 and 24 in 2019, which should revive the debate on the purchasing power of the more modest, further amputated by inflation.

In the period 2014-2021, the average compensation of executives increased by 83.8%, i.e. three times faster than that of employees, which increased by 23.9%. The company Proxinvest, which issues voting recommendations to shareholders for general meetings, is however pleased that, since 2021, all CAC 40 companies have now integrated ESG performance conditions into one of the CEO’s variable remunerations.

The top 5 of the highest paid executives include Carlos Tavares (66.7 million euros), Bernard Charlès of the Dassault Systèmes software group (44.1 million euros, of which 40.8 million in shareholder compensation), Daniel Julien of call center company Teleperformance (19.6 million euros), François-Henri Pinault of the luxury group Kering (12 million euros) and Paul Hudson of the pharmaceutical laboratory Sanofi (9 million euros).

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