Vive La France – But Mon Dieu, Those Aussies Are Catching Up

The main proxy firm in France has released its annual report on executive remuneration.

Most French CEO pay is delivered in share options. And only in the past year have performance shares made an appearance, making up just over 7.5% of total remuneration (excluding pension values). Median CEO pay for their top 120 companies, excluding pension, is about A$3.34 million. This median level of French CEO pay is 554 times the French minimum wage (which, by the way, is over A$27,000).

Full disclosure of relatively generous French pension arrangements does not occur, but is estimated at about 23% of cash pay, making median French CEO remuneration about A$3.75 million. This compares with ASX 100 median CEO pay of A$3.03 million (sourced from GuerdonData®).

The re-alignment of Australian CEO pay relative to French pay is a probably the result of more robust economic growth than the globalisation of executive pay standards (although there may be an element of this). Despite this re-alignment, there are still features of French executive pay that probably appeal to our CEOs. For example, less than 30% of French board remuneration committee members can be classified as independent. Which may help to explain why French executive share options are not subject to performance hurdles! This may be some Australian CEOs’ version of heaven….

Parlez vous Français, anyone?

© Guerdon Associates 2024
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