In a new study by the Hay Group division of Korn Ferry, it was found that the median total pay for CEOs at Singapore-listed companies has remained constant at S$625,000 per annum in FY2016. The report, titled Singapore Top Executive Remuneration 2017, also showed that the use of long-term incentives (LTIs) remains low at 11%.

Based on data from the latest annual company reports collected as of December 31, 2016, just over one-fifth (21%) of Singapore-listed companies paid bonuses to their CEO despite incurring a loss during FY2016, while 32% paid higher bonuses to their CEOs despite lower profitability.

Analysing remuneration data of CEOs from 541 listed companies in the Singapore Exchange, sectors such as construction, finance, hotels, transportation, and more were covered in the report.

By comparison, the consulting firm's study of the 300 largest US-listed companies found that total direct compensation (the sum of salary, bonus, and grant date fair value of LTIs) increased by 4.2% over the prior year to a total of US$12,464,251 (approx. S$16,840,450). However, this increase was almost entirely due to a 4.4% rise in the fair value of LTIs. Base salaries at such firms only increased 0.8%, while annual incentives were flat (0.0 rise%).

Coming back to Singapore, CEO compensation was generally greater at large-sized companies than at medium or small-sized companies. CEOs at large-sized companies were paid a median total remuneration of approximately S$3.41 million per annum (0.4% higher than the previous FY), while those in medium-sized companies were paid approximately S$1.25 million (18% lower than the last FY). At small-sized companies, the median total pay for CEOs was approximately S$599,640, (a 4% decrease from the previous FY).

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Among the nine key sectors, the property sector in Singapore had the highest median CEO compensation (S$1.5 million per annum), followed by the multi-industry sector (S$1.33 million) and finance S$1.22 million).

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Graphs / Korn Ferry Hay Group

Lead photo / StockUnlimited