The Best and Worst Countries to Be a Rich CEO

If the goal in your life is to be a CEO who receives a high salary, the ideal country to achieve this is the United States. But if your drea...

If the goal in your life is to be a CEO who receives a high salary, the ideal country to achieve this is the United States. But if your dream is only to be richer than the rest of society, South Africa and India are also good bets.

In any case, it is probably best to avoid Thailand, Poland, and China.

A Bloomberg classification of the compensation paid to CEOs in companies that were included in benchmark indices in 25 of the world's major economies shows that by far the largest checks are delivered in the United States. The directors of S & P's 500 businesses receive compensation packages averaging $ 16.9 million, about 2.6 times more than their counterparts in other countries. Second, Swiss directors get 1.6 times the average.

Overall payments to CEOs

The overall directorate fee index tracks the average compensation to CEOs of companies that are part of the corresponding primary stock index of their respective countries weighted by market capitalization.


In China the payout is 90 percent below average, these estimates are at least based on what was revealed by companies that are in the Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 index. This typically reports an annual level of compensation around US $ 640,000. However, directors of state-owned enterprises enjoy valuable incentives that include housing and entertainment, items that are sometimes not mentioned in the information presented.

In a second classification, the deck is somewhat disordered, comparing the payment to general managers with the income generated per person, an approximate measure of what the directors obtain about the society in which their companies are listed. That reference puts the payment to directors of South Africa and India above the fact in the United States.

Ratio between overall payments to general managers and average income

How well do the bosses pay? In proportion, the compensation to CEOs is compared to the per capita gross domestic product adjusted to reflect purchasing power parity, which shows how much income the average person generates.


There are many reasons behind the international disparities in compensation packages.

One of the most important is size. In the United States, there are many of the world's largest publicly traded companies.

The cost of living is also one of the explanations. It is much more costly to have a beautiful life in North America and Western Europe than in places like Thailand, where the CEOs are barely around $ 60,000 than in any other classified country.

In other cases dealing with a cultural issue. In Japan, large payments are typically considered taboo, as they are a sign of greed.

Also, taxes and regulations also count.

Payments to top executives in the United States have increased rapidly since the 1990s as boards increasingly rely on equity capital to offer compensation to managers, allowing companies to take advantage of tax deductions for tied compensation To performance. The Directors of Global companies are under pressure, on the one hand, from investors who do not wish to compensate their managers if there is no increase in the value of the shares and, on the other hand, executives who compare the amount of their check with that of colleagues better Remunerated in other countries.

Inequality of income

In some countries, increasing levels of payments have sparked debate over income inequality, triggering public rejection. Companies from various countries, including the United Kingdom and Spain, have now imposed compulsory shareholder voting on executive payments, which is done every three years. In 2013, the European Union ordered that performance-based compensation is limited to banks.

In the United States, at least, starting in 2017 businesses will be required to disclose more information, comparing the payment of a general manager with that of an average manager. President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to declare a temporary moratorium on new regulations that "should not be followed by Congressional provision or for reasons of public safety."

Such comparisons are not straightforward. Bloomberg's classification of payments to CEOs concerning society bases the per capita income generated per person on the per capita gross domestic product, adjusted according to the parity of the purchase price. This is not a perfect measure since GDP only measures the value of goods and services produced, not the way they are distributed.

The figures show that CEOs in South Africa and India take more than the estimated income generated by an average worker, surpassing what their US counterparts have gained from a relative perspective.

The compensation figure for each country is based on the average package of payments to CEOs for companies included in a major stock market index weighted by market capitalization. The fee, established in public records, includes salary, bonuses, incentive value and non-monetary payments, such as capital bonds, deferred compensation programs, and pensions.

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