As for the combined salary of the board, the research by Growth Company Investor found the average is now £495,000, compared to £382,000 in the previous year. In all, 59 AIM companies were shown to pay their boards £1 million or more – up from 47 in 2005 and 26 in 2004.
According to the research by Growth Company Investor, the highest paid chief executive in the survey is Allan Kerr, who is chief executive officer of metals trading group Wogen.
The company floated on the junior stockmarket at 122p in October last year and Wogen’s salary for the year to September 2005 has risen from £657,000 to £2.5 million, following a jump in pre-tax profits from £9.6 million to £23.2 million. The shares peaked at 187.5p in January, but later headed south on deteriorating trading conditions and plunging interim figures to 70p and lower.
By contrast, Albidon, an Australian nickel explorer in Zambia and elsewhere in Africa, paid its managing director a modest £8,800 in the year under review, making him the third lowest paid boss on AIM. Nevertheless, encouraging drilling results from the company’s projects sent the shares up 195 per cent over that period and have left them at 58.5p – more than double their level a year ago.
Other areas analysed by GCI include the largest and smallest companies by market capitalisation, the most profitable and least profitable companies, and company ranking by turnover.
The research comes at a time when institutional shareholders, who control close to 60 per cent of AIM shares, are starting to scrutinise more closely the pay practices of AIM-listed companies they invest in, and shareholders are evermore demanding when it come to seeing an appropriate balance between fixed and variable pay.