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How CEO Pay Differs Around the Globe

REDWOOD CITY, CA (August 17, 2016) — There was a sizable difference between CEO pay reported in public filings for U.S. and non-U.S. companies for fiscal 2015, according to a new report from Equilar featuring commentary from Equatex. Median total compensation for CEOs of U.S. companies reported in proxy statements was almost three times larger than what CEOs of non-U.S. companies reported in annual filings, reaching $14.9 million vs. $5.3 million for companies based outside the U.S.

Outside the U.S., the U.K. saw the highest median figure by a factor of nearly 2x—despite the fact that the $10.5 million median was nearly 30% lower than median reported pay for the U.S. Germany ($5.6 million) and France ($4.0 million) followed, while Japan ($1.5 million) had the smallest median figure of any country included in the study.

In the U.S., compensation practices have evolved to heavily favor equity, displayed by the fact that more than 60% of the average pay mix for U.S. CEOs in the study came from either stock or options, with the inverse being true for companies based outside the U.S.

Median salary was relatively consistent for CEOs across the study, ranging from a high of $1.6 million in the U.K. to a low of $1.1 million in Japan. Otherwise, there were wide disparities at the median in terms of cash bonuses, equity awards and other compensation (including benefits and perks).

“There are two key differences between how U.S. public companies award compensation vs. their counterparts in other markets,” said Chris Dohrmann, Executive Director, Business Development – US for Equatex, who contributed independent commentary for the report. "The first difference is that equity represents a larger proportion of total compensation in the U.S. The second difference is that matching plans are more popular in rest of the world, when compared to the discounted purchase models popular in the U.S., mostly due to tax and regulation.”

For more information on the report or to request a copy, click here.

About Global CEO Pay Trends 2016

Global CEO Pay Trends 2016 examines CEO compensation at the 50 largest U.S.-based companies and the 50 largest companies based outside the U.S.—as measured by revenue—on the Fortune Global 500 list (excluding Canadian and Chinese companies). Pay is analyzed for the 2015 fiscal year as disclosed in annual reports and proxy statements. The narrative portion of the report identifies trends in how global companies award CEO pay. Equatex has offered independent commentary to provide color and context to the way global companies structure pay programs, measure performance, and meet regulatory standards and stakeholder guidelines.

About Equatex

Equatex provides international employee and executive compensation plan services for today’s global enterprise, supporting clients with participants across Europe, Asia, Australia and America. With world-class cloud technologies and market leading financial reporting capabilities, Equatex enables companies to deliver engaging compensation schemes across borders, languages and currencies. Equatex supports over 200 international businesses and their 1.5 million employees, providing customized end-to-end solutions from funding instruments to administration, execution, accounting and financial reporting.

About Equilar

Equilar is the #1 provider of executive data, collecting information on more than 140,000 executives and board members from thousands of public companies. Our cloud-based platforms organize executive data into easily digestible formats, delivering compensation benchmarking, corporate governance and shareholder engagement tools with accuracy and integrity. These platforms bring together companies, shareholders and advisors to inform better business decisions and drive exceptional results. Founded in 2000, Equilar is the trusted data provider for 70% of the Fortune 500, and is cited regularly by The New York Times, Bloomberg, Forbes, Associated Press, CNN Money, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal and other leading media outlets.


Amit Batish
Director of Content & Marketing Communications

Equatex AG
Mia Claselius
Head of Marketing

Vulkanstrasse 106
8048 Zurich

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