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01 September 1999

Company fat cats remain untamed
Huge bonuses have helped ensure that top company directors enjoyed above-inflation pay rises again last year.

The latest Labour Research survey of executive pay shows that the average rise for stock exchange company directors was 10.7%, well ahead of both inflation and increases for the UK workforce generally. The average rise has been bolstered by seven-figure bonuses for some directors.

A whopping ?5,182,673 bonus for David Gruber, the former head of US operations at property group MEPC, gave him the biggest rise of the lot - of 1,287%. It took his salary to ?5,521,687 - the highest among directors of publicly quoted companies.

In the number two slot in terms of pay rises came Sir Dominic Cadbury, chair of Cadbury Schweppes. A big boost in his long-term performance bonus helped rocket his earnings by 192% to ?1.54 million.

The best known name to feature in the league of top pay rises is Greg Dyke, the new director-general of the BBC. In his last full year at media group Pearson he got a 107% increase, taking him to ?768,000 for the year.

Despite the leaps in pay for these executives, they do no quite match the earnings levels of the best paid directors of private companies. Labour Research examined over 2,000 annual reports for public and major private firms, and found the very best paid were in private companies.

Apart from MEPC's Gruber, the top seven salaries were earned in private firms, the highest being the ?6.51 million received by the "highest paid" (but unnamed) director at IM Group.

Labour Research's "celebrity top 10" - the artistes who have set up companies to bank their earnings - is led this year by Sting, whose Steerpike company paid him ?10.72 million. He overtook last year's league leader Phil Collins, who took a pay cut of over half to ?5.46 million.

Notes to editors

Further details of the highest paid directors in both stock exchange and private companies, the directors of stock exchange companies with the highest pay rises and the "celebrity top 10" are published in the September 1999 issue of Labour Research. The price of a single copy is ?2.80 (?3.10 including postage).
The Labour Research survey is based on directors' basic salary, annual and longer term bonuses and benefits in kind. It excludes profits from share options and company pension contributions.
The Labour Research Department is an independent trade union and labour movement organisation founded 88 years ago. More than 2,000 trade union organisations, including 55 national unions, representing 99% of total TUC membership are affiliated.
For more details contact Neal Moister on 0171 902 9818.

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