Company execs' pay 'cooling off'

Pay rises for company executives are showing signs of "cooling off" although a minority are continuing to receive substantial increases, according to a new report.

Earnings growth slowed in the past year to a median of 8.5%, lower than a similar study last October, research by Incomes Data Services (IDS) among chief executives in the FTSE-100 showed.

Bonus pay fell by 2% to around £670,000.

Steve Tatton of IDS said: "Remuneration committee members have now realised that their decisions will be scrutinised very closely by shareholders and the media.

"Shareholders are demanding to know what they are paying for. No longer, it appears, do remuneration committees and directors have a free hand, in the words of some, 'to pay themselves what they wish'.

"While the 'shareholder spring' has attracted a lot of attention recently, our analysis suggests that the pay packets for chief executives were already starting to reflect sentiment among shareholders and the wider public in the second half of 2011. There are definite signs of cooling off in executive pay awards."