Pay squeeze for AIM directors

The average pay of chief executive officers and finance directors of AIM-quoted companies has fallen since last year.

In a tough year for growth companies, mean CEO remuneration including bonuses was £231,967, a fall of 13.5 per cent on 2008, while the average AIM FD was paid £153,140, a drop of 4 per cent, according to research from GrowthBusiness’s sister title Growth Company Investor, in association with professional services firm Deloitte.

Those CEOs earning more than £1 million fell from 2.7 per cent of the market to just 0.6 per cent, while those with total compensation of more than £500,000 dropped from 9.6 to 6.9 per cent of all AIM companies, the research suggests.

In contrast, median pay rose for both CEOs and FDs, suggesting that while those at the top of the heap may have suffered, many executives secured modest pay hikes. Median CEO pay increased from £175,000 last year to £190,000, a rise of 8.6 per cent, meaning that chief executives on AIM are now earning 53 per cent more than they were when the research began in 2003.

Some of the smallest companies on the market, with a capitalisation of less than £5 million, are paying their CEOs relatively highly. The top tenth of such companies pay a median of £209,800, compared to median pay of £186,143 for all AIM-listed businesses valued at between £10 million and £20 million.

Small companies with highly paid CEOs include medical product distributor Healthcare Enterprise, which lost £13.3 million last year on sales of £800,000 yet paid its chief executive £497,000.

The full report, Directors’ Pay on AIM 2009, is available from Growth Company Investor.

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...

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