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Australia’s top-paid CEO revealed

  • July 14 2021
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Australia’s top-paid CEO revealed

By Cameron Micallef
July 14 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a change in investor sentiment when it comes to bonuses, leading to a new top 10, new research has revealed.

Australia’s top-paid CEO revealed

Australia’s top-paid CEO revealed

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  • July 14 2021
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The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a change in investor sentiment when it comes to bonuses, leading to a new top 10, new research has revealed.

Australia’s top-paid CEO revealed

For the first time, Australia has a CEO in Australia making more than $40 million for a financial year. 

Research released by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) showed that CSL’s Paul Perrault is now the most well-paid person in Australia.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, who had previously topped the list two years ago and ranking fourth in 2019, fell out of the top 10 as the travel industry was battered by lockdowns. 

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The research has also, for the first time, calculated realised pay for 12 ASX 200 companies based outside Australia, showing the effect of living in different jurisdictions. 

The US-based CEOs of ResMed and Avita Medical realised respective pay of $45.59 million and $37.57 million. By contrast, five New Zealand-based CEOs collectively realised just $9.28 million.

10 highest-paid ASX 200 CEOs on a realised-pay basis in FY20:

Rank

CEO

Company

Realised Pay

1 yr TSR  

5 yr TSR (P/A)

1

Paul Perreault

CSL

$43,044,606

35.0%

28.9%

2

Bill Beament

Northern Star

$31,783,929

16.4%

45.9%

3

Greg Goodman

Goodman Group

$26,868,195

0.9%

22.3%

4

Shemara Wikramanayake

Macquarie Group

$16,394,225

-30.5%

7.4%

5

Jake Klein

Evolution Mining

$15,849,082

33.8%

41.2%

6

Brad Banducci

Woolworths Group

$12,675,608

15.4%

10.5%

7

JS Jacques

Rio Tinto

$11,878,372

20.7%

28.1%

8

Michael Clarke

Treasury Wine Estates

$11,307,382

-27.6%

19.0%

9

Kevin Gallagher

Santos

$11,041,969

-22.1%

12.7%

10

Sandeep Biswas

Newcrest Mining

$10,985,657

-0.3%

20.3% 


Remunerations fall 

A record share of Australian chief executives have missed out on bonuses last year, with investors pushing salaries to executives to decade lows, the reserach showed.

Research released by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) showed a new trend against voting for CEO bonuses.

The research showed that almost one-third of ASX 100 CEOs received no bonus in the past financial year. This is in contrast to the period following the global financial crisis where all but 12 ASX 100 CEOs received a bonus in FY2009.

ACSI CEO Louise Davidson has welcomed the finding, saying the changing remunerations highlight the engagement of ACSI and its members over time. 

“Newly appointed CEOs almost always now start on a salary base significantly lower than their predecessors, and bonuses are becoming not just harder to achieve, but more often paid in equity rather than cash,” Ms Davidson said.

Not all companies followed the downward market trends, with a number of outliers receiving high levels of realised pay.

“As the impact of the pandemic subsides, boards will need to keep assessing whether performance hurdles and the value of shares being awarded are appropriate to ensure any new incentives align with gains made by investors,” Ms Davidson concluded.

Australia’s top-paid CEO revealed
Australia’s top-paid CEO revealed
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

author image
Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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