FDs slam ‘excessive’ salaries of Big Four leaders

Four out of five of the UK’s finance directors believe that senior partners
at the Big Four firms are overpaid, after it was disclosed last week that
Deloitte chief executive John Connolly takes home a pay package of £3.6m.

The Accountancy Age/Reed Finance Big Question found that 84% of the
261 finance directors polled believed that Big Four senior partners were paid
too much. Julian Groves, FD of Herts College, said partners were earning ‘silly
money’ and questioned whether they were ‘really earning it’.

Another respondent said big egos were one of the main reasons for excessive
pay packages.

‘The problem we have in this country with highly paid executives is that,
ultimately, their main drive, in most cases, is personal ego and how much they
are paid is part of this,’ the FD said. ‘Fat cat salaries have become excessive
over the past decade.’

Elizabeth Liberda-Moreni, FD of National Animal Welfare, said the lucrative
pay packages of senior partners could ‘attract budding new accountants into the
profession’, but warned that this may create unrealistic expectations among

‘The problem is that the public, in general, and newcomers to the profession
may assume these unrealistic salaries are generally accepted as the norm in the
accountancy profession,’ Liberda-Moreni said.

Only 8% of FDs believed partner salaries were justified, with the remainder
neutral on the issue.

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