Source | ET Bureau
NEW DELHI: Here’s a little-appreciated corporate factoid with big implications: A CEO (or an MD or a chairperson) wasn’t the highest-paid executive in 22 BSE200 companies, show data for 2014-15.
Paying chief executives the most is corporate conventional wisdom number one. But not only, as the data crunched by ET Intelligence Group show, is there good statistical evidence showing this wisdom is often ignored, there’s also widespread anecdotal evidence.
Global case in point: in 2014, CEO Tim Cook wasn’t the highest-paid executive in the world’s most valuable firm, Apple. Senior talent hired from outside was paid more to make their job change seem worthwhile.
Some Indian cases in point: Ravi Kapoor, head of investment banking at Citigroup Capital Markets, India, is earning more than Pramit Jhaveri, the firm’s India managing director.
Some chief investment officers in mutual funds such as HDFC AMC, Franklin Templeton and ICICI Prudential AMC earn more than managing directors and India heads of business, finance firm insiders say.
Prashant Jain earns more than Milind Barve, managing director at HDFC AMC. Anand Radhakrishnan, the chief investment officer at Franklin Templeton, earns more than big boss Vivek Kudva. S Naren of ICICI Prudential AMC gets a fatter paycheck than Nimesh Shah, managing director.
Aashish Bhinde, executive director, Avendus Capital, is paid more than CEO Ranu Vohra. Bhinde specialises in the red-hot growth areas of digital, technology and ecommerce.
Most companies are extremely reluctant, when they are not listed, to share compensation information.
Even listed companies are not inclined to talk in detail about compensation structures. But many conversations ET reporters had with headhunters, experienced industry watchers and senior insiders pointed to the fact that companies paying a CEO less than another executive is not as rare as supposed.
There are big corporate names in our list of 22 BSE200 companies that do not pay their CEOs the most: M&M, Tata Motors, Adani Enterprises, Adani Ports, Reliance Power, Reliance Communications, Reliance Capital, Titan Company and Kotak Mahindra Bank.
America Inc is entirely familiar with the concept of not paying the most to a CEO. For example, a September 2013 report in rediff.com showcased 22 American executives who get paid more than their company top boss.
Financial firms are among those most likely to pay a star employee more than a CEO, but it can happen pretty much in any sector, our data show.