26. BRIAN GILBERTSON, BHP BILLITON
Shareholder return 33.2%
Even the prime minister of Australia joined in the outcry over the size of Brian Gilbertson's pay-off. He left BHP Billiton at the start of this year with a compensation package worth up to £11m, including £3m in pay and bonuses for last year. The tough South African ran the combined company for just six months – making the pay-off worth nearly £2m for each month worked.
27. SIR ROBERT WILSON, RIO TINTO
Shareholder return 20.8%
When Sir Robert Wilson retires from Rio Tinto in October, he will have one of the largest pension pots of any UK executive – a nest egg of £14.6m. The lavish sum, which will net him a retirement income of £650,000 a year, bears witness to the fact that the 59-year-old has worked for the world's biggest mining group for more than 30 years. He has a reputation as a ruthless cost-cutter who turned Rio into a highly efficient – and profitable – company.
28. PAUL WALSH, DIAGEO
Shareholder return 25%
An ex-comprehensive lad from Manchester, Paul Walsh, head of the world's biggest spirits group, pulls off the fat-cat act with style, helped by corporate-America mannerisms and a year-round suntan. He has headed the £22bn Smirnoff-to-Baileys group since September 2000, bulking out its drinks cabinet with half of Seagram's brands, selling Pillsbury and Burger King along the way. His total salary was £2.3m last year, including a bonus of £1.5m.
29. MATT BARRETT, BARCLAYS
Shareholder return 16.6%
The colourful Canadian chief executive of Barclays has courted controversy by having a "golden goodbye" clause in his contract which would see him pick up £5m if he lost his job in a takeover. Barrett once said he was a "bargain". Last year he was paid £1.7m, down nine per cent on 2001, in line with Barclays' decline in profits. But, contributions to his pension increased to £990,000.
30. JOHN RITBLAT, BRITISH LAND
Shareholder return 8.1%
The most talked about figure in the commercial property industry loves landmark assets and is described as a "deal junkie". British Land, where he has been chairman and chief executive for 30 years, owns the Broadgate development in the City of London and Sheffield's Meadowhall shopping centre. Ritblat's complete control has come under fire from shareholders.
31. SIR JOHN BOND, HSBC
Shareholder return 11.5%
The 61-year-old elder statesman of British banking is one of the old guard of the City, in his regulation pin-striped suits. However, the HSBC chairman has also embraced modern approaches to business and is known for his ultra-thrifty attitude. Sir John has been one of the more moderately paid members of the banking elite, though a 3.6 per cent increase last year took his salary to £1.88m.
32. MARCUS BERESFORD, GKN
Shareholder return -37.7%
In his first full year as chief executive of the engineering company, Marcus Beresford saw his pay double to £1.45m, while the share price continued to fall. He benefited from a £200,000 injection into his pension scheme and received a £600,000 bonus (121 per cent of his basic salary) last year. After just 17 months at the helm, he retired in December 2002. GKN shares have more than halved in the past 12 months, hit by the downturn in the global economy.
33. ROLF STAHEL, SHIRE PHARMACEUTICALS
Shareholder return -56.8%
Rolf Stahel's reputation as one of the sharpest executives in the British drugs industry might have suffered had he not been ousted in a boardroom coup. The Swissman walks away with a £5.9m pay-off (two years' salary plus a £4.3m pension top-up), on top of his £1.14m salary last year. He took Shire from a tiny drugs-maker worth £100m in 1994 into a global player worth £2bn.
34. JONATHAN BLOOMER, PRUDENTIAL
Shareholder return -53.3%
Bloomer has had a rocky ride as chief executive of the UK's second-largest insurer. Under his rule, 1,400 door-to-door salesmen were axed. Bloomer last year suffered the ignominy of seeing an incentive plan that would have given him multimillion-pound bonuses scrapped after a shareholder backlash. A new plan was also shelved, to be sensitive to shareholders who have lost out in the past year.
35. BRIAN LARCOMBE, 3i
Shareholder return -56.9%
Brian Larcombe took his A-levels two years early and rose quickly through the ranks of 3i, the venture capital firm he joined after finishing university in 1974. Like many venture capitalists, he presided over some pretty duff investments during the millennium technology boom, but was able to turn a £92m profit from buying and selling the low-cost airline Go within the space of a year.
36. BRENDAN O'NEILL, ICI
Shareholder return -66%
Brendan O'Neill was forced out as chief executive of ICI last month after a disastrous collapse in the company's share price caused by a string of profit warnings. Not, however, before he had picked up a £1.01m salary, even though ICI was one of the worst performing stocks in the FTSE 100, and a £361,000 "performance bonus". His reward for being ousted? A pay-off worth about £615,000.
37. NIALL FITZGERALD, UNILVER
Shareholder return 46.6%
The £2m-a-year chairman of Unilever opened himself up to accusations of hypocrisy recently when he branded huge pay packages for failing directors "a potential cancer in our society". However, apart from the odd blip such as overseeing a new type of Persil which famously burned through people's clothes, Fitzgerald's track record has been impressive and most investors in his company are happy to hand over the cash.
38. TONY TRAHAR, ANGLO AMERICAN
Shareholder return 39.2%
Originally an accountant, South African Trahar rose through the ranks before becoming CEO in 2000. The previous year the company had listed in London and moved its headquarters from South Africa. He has been responsible for presenting a less South African company to investors and diversifying assets. He was also instrumental in a deal that saw Anglo America take its part in a consortium that took De Beers, the diamonds giant, private.
39. CRISPIN DAVIS, REED ELSEVIER
Shareholder return 12.5%
Crispin Davis leads Britain's biggest media company (measured by stock-market value). Reed's business, mostly in publishing, has performed spectacularly. However, Reed's executive directors have missed out on a £20m bonus pool because the company's shares have fallen. Controversially, Reed has drawn up another scheme to reward Davis which is not dependent on the share price.
40. FRANK CHAPMAN, BG
Shareholder return -4%
BG's chief executive received a salary of £1.12m last year – a 47 per cent increase on the previous year. Chapman's package was swollen by a £756,000 payment into his pension, which now stands at £2.7m. A lifelong oilman who spent most of his early career at Shell and BP, he is paid much less than the chief executives of either of those companies, even though BG has outperformed them.
41. MERVYN DAVIES, STANDARD CHARTERED
Shareholder return -4%
The chief executive of Standard Chartered saw his pay tick up eight per cent last year to £1.433m. The Welshman clinched the top job after Standard Chartered's former chief executive, Rana Talwa, lost his job in a boardroom coup. The City seems quite happy with the swap – on Davies' watch the world's largest bank in developing countries has posted a 16 per cent increase in profits.
42. KEITH BUTLER-WHEELHOUSE, SMITHS
Shareholder return -5.7%
Keith Butler-Wheelhouse, the chief executive of Smiths Group, has come far since his days as a welding-gun repairman with the Ford Motor Company. The 56-year-old worked his way up the ladder at the motor company before moving to General Motors. The father-of-two spent four years as chief executive of Saab in Sweden – but failed to learn the language and insisted on working in English throughout his time there, before being lured to Smiths.
43. SIR IAN PROSSER, SIX CONTINENTS
Shareholder return -12.6%
Sir Ian Prosser has been one of the best known people in the beer industry for the best part of two decades. A dour figure, he was chairman of Bass from 1987, and built the company up to be one of Britain's biggest brewers. Bass changed its name to Six Continents in 2001, and earlier this year it split itself in two. Sir Ian remains chairman of the InterContinental Hotels division.
44. PETER ELLWOOD, LLOYDS TSB
Shareholder return -18.3%
Ellwood retires at the end of this month after six years at the helm of Lloyds TSB. A stickler for detail, he has been criticised for the ill-timed purchase of the insurance business Scottish Widows and the failure to pull off the acquisition of Abbey National. He is also chairman of Employers for Work-Life Balance and does not stay late in the office "to avoid creating a long-hours culture by example".
45. ALAN MURRAY, HANSON
Shareholder return -20.4%
Alan Murray, the new chief executive, received an increase to his pension pot worth £1.2m in March. This will entitle him to a retirement income of £230,000 a year for life. His pay and bonus packet rose 30 per cent to £838,000. Shares in Hanson, set up by Lord Hanson, have plunged in the past 12 months, and pre-tax profits last year were static at £350m.
46. SIR MARTIN SORRELL, WPP
Shareholder return -39.8%
Urbane, articulate and rarely off the business pages, when Sir Martin speaks, the advertising industry listens. He has built WPP up to be one of the top three advertising groups globally, with clients including Ford. Sir Martin had a close scrape in the early-Nineties recession, but was better placed for the current downturn, which he famously dubbed a "bath-shaped" recession.
47. STANLEY FINK, MAN GROUP
Shareholder return 141.5%
Last year there would have been no greater advocate of Man's policy of tying remuneration to company performance – Swiss banking guru Fink received a basic salary of £350,000 but became one of the highest-paid FTSE 100 executives thanks to a bonus of £2.75m. Last year Man became the largest hedge-fund manager in the world following the £566m purchase of a Swiss rival. Fink has tried to raise the company's profile by sponsoring the Booker Prize.
48. BART BECHT, RECKITT BENCKISER
Shareholder return 71.1%
The 46-year-old Dutch wunderkind joined the household goods producer, which makes Vanish and Mr Sheen, in 1988 and got the top job 10 years later. The company's report explains that Bart Becht's bonus was only 209 per cent of his basic salary last year, compared to 351 per cent in 2001, because he had not met performance targets. He would, however, receive a golden handshake of twice his average bonus, plus 1.5 times his basic salary if sacked.
49. SIR CLIVE THOMPSON, RENTOKIL INITIAL
Shareholder return 31.4%
Sir Clive was dubbed "Mr 20 per cent" by investors after a 17-year run of 20 per cent annual increases in earnings. But his Midas touch at the rat-catching group lost its shine in 1999, which saw a radical restructuring at the firm, including a major disposal programme and share buy-back. After 20 years at the helm, Sir Clive moved to the role of chairman from chief executive in January.
50. LUC VANDEVELDE, MARKS & SPENCER
Shareholder return 43.5%
Luc Vandevelde received £2.2m as chairman of M&S last year, due, in part, to deferred bonus payments. The 52-year-old Belgian received a £650,000 bonus plus the £704,000 bonus he had waived the previous year. This bumper package caused controversy, but he has overseen a recovery at the retail giant since joining three years ago. He went part-time last year, and his pay has been cut to £420,000.Reuse content