FTSE fat cats to earn average UK salary by Thursday!

Bosses at Britain’s biggest companies will earn more by Thursday morning than the average worker is paid in a year, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Our ‘Fat Cat Files’ show that a typical chief executive of a FTSE 100 company is now paid £4 million – well over 100 times a full-time UK employee’s average salary of just under £35,000.

But some earn much more and can have even bigger pay gaps with workers. The news comes despite salaries rising at their fastest rate on record amid a cost of living squeeze fuelled by soaring food and energy prices, which are only now abating.

And it follows calls from business groups that executives should be paid even more if the UK is to compete as a global financial centre.

The calculations are based on the median pay figures for bosses and ordinary workers.

Fat cats: A typical chief executive of a FTSE 100 company is now paid £4 million – well over 100 times a full-time UK employee’s average salary of just under £35,000

Among the biggest Footsie earners last year was Albert Manifold, the chief executive of construction group and Tarmac-owner CRH, which made headlines earlier this year by shifting its stock market listing from London to New York.

In 2022, Manifold was paid £10.4 million – 259 times more than the average CRH worker.

That meant that CRH had the largest pay gulf of any blue-chip company.

But this could get even bigger as US-based executives earn far more than their counterparts in Britain.

The analysis of Footsie company accounts – which excludes three investment trusts where boardroom pay is much lower – chimes with a recent report from the High Pay Centre think-tank.

It found that the pay gap between chief executives in the broader FTSE 350 index and their workers widened to 57 times, up from 56 times in the previous year.

In the first year of the pandemic, the disparity fell as bosses gave up rewards to show solidarity, according to Luke Hildyard, director of the High Pay Centre.

But pay gaps have returned to pre-Covid levels in the last two years, he said. Companies listed in London with more than 250 staff must disclose the pay ratio between the CEO and employees.

The High Pay Centre found those with the lowest paid workers were retailers JD Sports, WH Smith and pub chain Mitchells & Butlers.

Julia Hoggett, head of the London Stock Exchange, has called for a ‘constructive discussion’ about pay amid fears that talented bosses could be tempted to ditch UK companies for the US, where potential rewards are higher still.

Simmering shareholder anger at the largesse shown to some executives occasionally boils over.

One of the biggest revolts came last month at Unilever when the owners of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream were forced to freeze chief executive Hein Schumacher’s salary for the next two years after investors voted against the company’s pay report.

Also in the doghouse is education publisher Pearson, where nearly half of its investors refused to back its pay policy. Cevian, its largest shareholder, recently called on Pearson to move its main listing to New York to improve shareholder value.

Pearson and Unilever are among a swathe of quoted companies on a Government list of shame over excessive pay. Firms where more than a fifth of shareholders protest are placed on the register, which is compiled by the Investment Association.

The list was introduced in 2017 due to concerns that corporate greed was damaging confidence in capital markets.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk