Business – Soaring FD pay fuels ‘fat cat’ claims

FTSE-100 FDs saw their annual pay soar by an average of 12.1% last year, according to a survey published this week.

FDs were paid an average salary of #264,795 which, after bonuses and benefits reached #394,378, according to the annual survey of company reports by Accountancy Age’s sister magazine, Financial Director.

The best paid FD was Robert McCullough, who received a total package worth #925,000 as CFO of AMVESCAP, the fund management group formed out of the merger of INVESCO and AIM.

McCullough, a US-qualified certified public accountant, was paid a basic salary of #183,000, but received a massive #732,000 bonus.

Cuts in benefits saw previous high-fliers tumble down the rankings. Tomkins’ Ian Duncan, who topped the poll last year with #912,000, saw his income decline to #774,000.

On the way up this year was Rosemary Thorne, the 46-year-old FD of J Sainsbury, who recorded a 79.7% increase in her income to #426,000.

She was closely followed by National Power’s Roger Witcomb, who earned #296,552 – 78.4% up on last year.

Despite their rises, both failed to enter the high-flier top ten, which was domina-ted instead by the big pharmaceuticals groups, banks and conglomerates.

The jump in average income is likely to fuel claims of fat cat pay among top executives. Last month union leader John Edmonds, head of the GMB, called directors ‘greedy bastards’ for giving themselves large pay rises.

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