Ownership Matters compared chief executive pay across the S&P/ASX 200 for the 2012 financial year in a report commissioned by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors.

CEO Pay in the S&P/ASX 200 in 2012

By Cass Wigley

This study compares chief executive pay across the S&P/ASX 200 for the 2012 financial year.

It calculates realised or actual pay and statutory pay data for every chief executive in the Top 100 and Top 200 and compares pay year on year. Realised or actual pay includes the value of equity that vested during the year. Statutory pay reflects remuneration report disclosures.

Key findings:

  • Average fixed pay in the S&P/ASX 200 declined by 2.4 percent to $1.9 million in 2012. Average and median fixed pay for Top 100 CEOs continued to dwarf that of ASX101-200 CEOs, with the average CEO in this group receiving fixed pay of $973,576, almost 5 percent higher than average fixed pay in 2011
  • Average bonuses for Top 100 CEOs increased by 4.8 percent in 2012, compared with a 20 percent decline in the size of bonuses in 2011.
  • The overwhelming majority of sample CEOs received a bonus in 2012 – 82 percent – although the proportion of CEOs who did not receive a bonus was the highest since 2003.
  • Two brothers were the highest paid CEOs in 2012 – Peter and Steven Lowy. As co-CEOs of the property group Westfield (their father retired to non-executive duties in 2011), their combined statutory pay was $21.08 million in 2012.
  • In 2012 the average statutory pay for a chief executive in the S&P/ASX 200 stabilised at $4.705 million, only marginally lower than the 2011 average of $4.725 million, the lowest level since 2006.
  • Of the 40 CEOs included as individual case studies in the research, 17 had higher realised than reported pay, including the five highest paid CEOs in the sample on a statutory basis. 14 had lower realised than reported pay and in nine cases there was no difference.
  • The largest gap in the highest paid group of Top 100 CEOs was Mike Smith’s pay at ANZ whose reported pay of $9.674 million was outstripped by realised pay of $19.173 million, due to valuable equity that vested in 2012.

All CEO pay papers are available here on ACSI’s website.

Published: November 2013