CEO pay on AIM hits all-time high

Chief executive pay on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) has broken the £200,000 threshold for the first time, with median pay at £200,352 compared to £190,300 the previous year.

Despite disappointing returns for investors last year, with a 25 per cent slump in the AIM All-Share index, board pay is also at a record high, rising to £496,500 from £460,670.

New research from Growth Company Investor reveals that 16 CEOs of AIM-quoted companies are earning over £1 million, and 90 are making more than £500,000.

However, others are not so fortunate. Of all AIM chief execs, 32 per cent saw their total pay fall last year, while 11 per cent suffered a freeze.

Finance directors are consistent winners in AIM pay reviews. Their median pay has increased every year since 2003, now standing at £143,542. Over the eight-year period since Growth Company Investor began its survey, it has gone up 69 per cent, compared to 62 per cent for CEOs and 54 per cent for boards.

But while 63 per cent of FDs saw their pay increase last year, the same was true for only 48 per cent of non-executives. Median pay for a non-executive chairman is £38,821.

The survey reveals that the link between pay and company profitability is a weak one. Although CEOs at profitable companies tend to receive a higher salary than those at loss-making concerns (£223,991 compared to £177,356), some of the highest salaries go to the directors of loss-making operations.

The highest-paid director on AIM, Gulf Keystone Petroleum executive chairman Todd Kozel, made £6.46 million in 2010, mostly in the form of share-based payments, though the company lost $26 million (£17 million) during the period in question. Alan Watling, CEO of African Minerals, took home £2.54 million despite his company losing $46.5 million.

Other high-rolling chief executives include Richard Bernstein of Eurovestech (£1.92 million), Michael Zheng of Altona Energy (£1.9 million) and Daniel Levy of Tottenham Hotspur who earned £1.8 million before the company left AIM in January.

The full report, Directors’ Pay on AIM 2012, contains pay details for 850 AIM companies as well as analysis by company turnover and profitability, market capitalisation and sector.

Nick Britton

Nick Britton

Nick was the Managing Editor for when it was owned by Vitesse Media, before moving on to become Head of Investment Group and Editor at What Investment and thence to Head of Intermediary...

Related Topics

Early Stage Funding