U.K. fat cats get cream earlier: Report

The earnings of Britain's top bosses will match a typical worker's entire annual salary even faster than last year, hitting the mark by Friday lunchtime, according to a new study.
January 7, 2019


All the trappings of wealth, but excessive pay for company chiefs has stirred a bitter debate in Britain's corporate culture since the financial crash 10 years ago.

A report says the earnings of top bosses will match a typical worker's entire annual salary by Friday (Jan. 4) lunchtime in the U.K.

In other words, two and half days working days into a new year for most Brits.

In other numbers, that means they've earned just under 30,000 pounds (C$50,900) in that period.

It's not a new issue — but does have a new twist.

Investor pressure and shareholder anger has seen high-profile revolts at AGMs in 2018, with the boss of U.K. housebuilder Persimmon leaving the company on Dec. 31.

It followed criticism of a 100 million pound (C$170 million) bonus package — though that has been scaled back.

Median pay for a top FTSE 100 company CEO in 2017, the most recently disclosed data, was 3.9 million pounds (C$6.6 million), says the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and High Pay Centre, the report's authors.

That's up 11 per cent from the previous year.

But — dubbing the day when CEO pay passes that of the average worker as "Fat Cat Friday" is unhelpful, according to the Institute of Directors, which represents company executives.

Determining executive pay should not, it says, be driven by populism.

— David Pollard, Reuters