CAC 40 chiefs increased by 52% in 2021: their wages reached absolute records
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CAC 40 chiefs increased by 52% in 2021: their wages reached absolute records

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Salaries for France’s CAC 40 senior bosses peaked at an average of €7.9m last year, more than 100 times the salaries of their employees, according to Proxinvest’s annual report.

The pay of the top bosses in CAC 40 has never been this high. On average, they each earned €7.9m last year. This is more than 100 times the salaries of their employees, determines the report published on Tuesday, November 22 by the shareholder advisory firm Proxinvest.

The study reports “a sharp increase in mean and median offset across all indicators (CAC 40 and SBF 120, editor’s note). We are of course into the historical records,” stated Jehan Leroy, ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) Research Director.

The average total salary of chiefs in the CAC 40 index increased by 52%, while the average salary of CEOs of the SBF 120 index of the 120 largest companies listed in France increased by 22% to €4.5 million. Either way, it was unheard of in fifteen years.

These figures for 2021 were obtained in comparison with the figures for 2019, before the health crisis, and not in comparison with the figures for 2020, which is considered an unrepresentative year due to the fact that a certain number of directors waived part of their wages.

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The effect of Carlos Tavares

These bonuses are driven by the very good post-Covid results of the companies in 2021, upon which the bonus items are indexed. The increase was also explained by the influence of Carlos Tavares, General Manager of the Automotive Group Stellantis (Peugeot-Citroën-Fiat), whose total compensation reached a record level not seen by Proxinvest, amounting to 66.7 million euros. According to the report, “This is the first time in 15 years that a company has offered total damages in excess of €50 million.”

To determine its ranking, the Proxinvest report takes into account all components of the bonus: fixed annual bonus, long-term multi-year pay, allotment of shares evaluated on the date of their allotment, benefits in kind … All of these items finally exploded this year. Average fixed compensation increased by 4.2% and average annual bonus by 33.6% within the CAC 40, while the value of free performance share allocations reached an all-time high in the SBF 120, up 39.6%.

Equivalent to 369 thick

It is also “the first time in eight years that the average compensation of CAC 40 managers is more than 100 times the average compensation of employees,” or 369 times the minimum wage on a 39-hour basis, according to the report, which reveals worse compliance with the acceptable maximum. Social for wages (€5.12 million) calculated by Proxinvest.

In all, 29 leaders have crossed that cap, compared to 14 in 2020 and 24 in 2019, which should re-launch the debate over more modest purchasing power, further amputated by inflation.

Over the period 2014-2021, average executive wages increased by 83.8%, three times faster than employee wages, which increased by 23.9%.

Ranking of the 5 highest paid managers in France

Among the 5 highest-paid CEOs are Carlos Tavares (66.7 million euros), Bernard Charles from the Dassault System software group (44.1 million euros, including 40.8 million in shareholder remuneration), Daniel Julian from the call center company Teleperformance (19.6 million euros) euros), François-Henri Pinault from luxury group Kering (12 million euros) and Paul Hudson from pharmaceutical laboratory Sanofi (9 million euros).

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