Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) are the people that run companies, make critical operational decisions that impact everything from employee morale to balance sheet health to futures business direction. This job usually comes with immense pressure to perform and long-hours to get the work done. Obviously, this job is not for the faint-hearted.
This also often means that they are the most handsomely paid employee in the company. In this article, we look at how much the biggest listed companies in Singapore, those on the Straits Times Index (STI), paid their CEOs in FY2017.
CEO Salary In FY2017
Three companies did not divulge the remuneration of their chief executive – Jardine Matheson Holdings; Jardine Strategic Holdings; and Hongkong Land.
In FY2017, CEOs received a remuneration package worth an average of $5.0 million. Taking the median remuneration into consideration, taking out the outliers at the top (such as Venture Corp, Genting Singapore and DBS) and bottom (such as Yangzijiang), the median salary of CEOs in FY2017 was $4.5 million.
|Company||CEO Remuneration in FY2017 ($‘M)|
|4||Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC)||9.7|
|5||United Overseas Bank (UOB)||9.4|
|8||Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel)*||6.6|
|11||Singapore Airlines (SIA)*||5.0|
|13||Jardine Cycle & Carriage||4.4|
|18||Singapore Exchange (SGX)***||3.2|
|19||Singapore Press Holdings (SPH)****||3.0|
|22||Hutchinson Port Holdings Trust||2.0|
|25||CapitaLand Commercial Trust||1.5|
|26||CapitaLand Mall Trust||1.3|
|28||Jardine Matheson Holdings||N.A|
|29||Jardine Strategic Holdings||N.A|
|Average CEO Remuneration||5.0M|
|Median CEO Remuneration||4.5M|
FY2017 CEO Remuneration Growth
Out of the 30 companies’ CEOs, 18 of them received a pay increment of between 118% and 3%, seven received the same pay and just one received a lower salary. Overall, the both the average pay and the median pay increased by 13.6% and 15.8% respectively.
During FY2017, Venture Corporation’s CEO received the highest pay hike, of 118%, while as many as 13 other CEOs received double digit salary increments.
The one company that paid out a lower salary might not be representative of its operations or business, as there was a change in CEO and that could have resulted in a slightly lower salary payout for the CEO position.
|Company||CEO Remuneration in FY2017 ($‘M)||CEO Remuneration in FY2016 ($‘M)||CEO Remuneration Growth in FY2017 (%)|
|9||Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC)||9.7||8.4||16|
|11||United Overseas Bank (UOB)||9.4||8.4||11|
|13||Singapore Airlines (SIA)*||5.0||4.5||11|
|14||Jardine Cycle & Carriage||4.4||4.0||10|
|17||Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel)*||6.6||6.4||3|
|18||Singapore Press Holdings (SPH)****||3.0||2.9||3|
|21||Singapore Exchange (SGX)***||3.2||3.2||0|
|22||Hutchinson Port Holdings Trust||2.0||2.0||0|
|24||CapitaLand Commercial Trust||1.5||1.5||0|
|26||CapitaLand Mall Trust||1.3||1.5||-13%|
|28||Jardine Matheson Holdings||N.A||N.A||N.A|
|29||Jardine Strategic Holdings||N.A||N.A||N.A|
|Average CEO Remuneration||5.0||4.4||13.6|
|Median CEO Remuneration||4.4||3.8||15.8|
FY2017 CEO Remuneration Compared to Market Capitalisation Of Companies
Comparing CEOs remuneration to the size of the company they manage, we found that the CEO with the highest pay was managing one of the smaller component companies on the STI – Venture Corp’s CEO was paid $12 million in FY2017, managing a company with a market capitalisation of $7.9 billion. Genting Singapore’s CEO was also in the top three, with a remuneration of $10.0 million in FY2017, managing a company with a market capitalisation of $13.2 billion.
Looking past this, the biggest companies generally paid their CEOs better. CEOs at DBS Group, OCBC, UOB and SingTel were all within the top 8 best paid. The only observable deviation looked to be Thai Beverage, part of the top five highest capitalised companies (excluding the three companies which did not disclose its CEO pay), which paid their CEO $1.5 million in FY2017.
|Company||CEO Remuneration in FY2017 ($‘M)||Market Capitalisation ($’B)|
|4||Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC)||9.7||53.3|
|5||United Overseas Bank (UOB)||9.4||45.5|
|8||Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel)*||6.6||55.3|
|11||Singapore Airlines (SIA)*||5.0||12.7|
|13||Jardine Cycle & Carriage||4.4||13.4|
|18||Singapore Exchange (SGX)***||3.2||7.9|
|19||Singapore Press Holdings (SPH)****||3.0||3.9|
|22||Hutchinson Port Holdings Trust||2.0||3.8|
|25||CapitaLand Commercial Trust||1.5||6.4|
|26||CapitaLand Mall Trust||1.3||7.2|
|28||Jardine Matheson Holdings||N.A||59.9|
|29||Jardine Strategic Holdings||N.A||57.3|
CEO Remuneration Growth VS Y-O-Y Profit Growth
Based on remuneration growth compared to profit growth, there was no clear pattern either. CEOs who oversaw more than 60% profit growth in their companies saw differing outcomes for the year – Venture Corp’s CEO, who oversaw an 80% increase in profit, received a 118% increase in remuneration and Genting Singapore’s CEO, who oversaw a 78% increase in profits, received a 28% increase in remuneration.
On the other hand, UOL Group’s CEO, who oversaw a 210% increase in profitability, got a 4% increase in remuneration and CapitaLand Commercial Trust’s and Yangzijiang’s CEOs, who oversaw a 122% and 67% increase in profit respectively, received no increase in remuneration.
We are not taking Thai Bev’s revenue improvement into consideration as it was mainly due to a change in financial year that caused its spike in revenue.
Several CEOs who oversaw poorer performance we also rewarded with higher remuneration. This included StarHub, Golden Agri-Resources, Keppel Corp and Singapore Airlines, all of which remunerated their CEOs better in FY2017 than the year before.
|Company||CEO Remuneration Growth in FY2017 (%)||Profit Growth in FY2017 (%)|
|9||Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC)||16||19|
|11||United Overseas Bank (UOB)||11||9|
|13||Singapore Airlines (SIA)*||11||-55|
|14||Jardine Cycle & Carriage||10||16|
|17||Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel)*||3||-1|
|18||Singapore Press Holdings (SPH)****||3||32|
|21||Singapore Exchange (SGX)***||0||-3|
|22||Hutchinson Port Holdings Trust||0||-45|
|24||CapitaLand Commercial Trust||0||122|
|26||CapitaLand Mall Trust||-13%||40|
|28||Jardine Matheson Holdings||N.A||51|
|29||Jardine Strategic Holdings||N.A||50|
For comparisons purposes, we have extracted market capitalisation values from Bloomberg. Profitability, revenue and CEO salary figures were extracted from the respective companies’ FY2017 annual reports. The below highlights the assumptions and/or considerations used when portraying the figures above.
In cases where figures were quoted in US dollars, we used the exchange rate of S$1.31 to USD$1.00. In cases where figures were quoted in Thai Baht, we used the exchange rate of THB23.81 to S$1.00. In cases where figures were quoted in Chinese RMB, we used the exchange rate of RMB4.80 to S$1.00. In cases where figures were quoted in Hong Kong dollar, we used the exchange rate of HK$5.99 to S$1.00.
Whenever a range was given for CEO salary, we used the highest-end as the remuneration for the company’s CEO.
*SingTel’s, SIA’s, Ascendas REIT’s, and SATS’ FY2017 ended 31 March 2017.
**Thai Bev’s FY2017 ended 30 September 2017. In addition, revenue and profit growth comparison to its FY2016 figures are skewed due to a change in financial calendar. Its FY2017 figures incorporate 12 months’ worth of input, while its FY2016 figures incorporates only nine months’ worth of input.
***SGX’s FY2017 ended 30 June 2017.
****SPH’s FY2017 ended on 31 August 2017.
The rest of the companies have financial year end at 31 December 2017.
^Including the outgoing CEO’s salary, CapitaLand Mall Trust’s total remuneration for its two CEOs for the year came up to $1.3 million.
^^ Including the outgoing CEO’s salary, Sembcorp Industries’ total remuneration for its two CEOs for the year came up to $4.4 million.
^^^ Including the outgoing CEO’s salary, ComfortDelGro’s total remuneration for its two CEOs for the year came up to $2.1 million.
All share price was extracted from SGX’s StockFacts platform.
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