Senior executives may get 8.9% salary hike in 2022; Highest in 5 years: Aon survey

With 475 participating organizations, Aon’s 11th annual Executive Rewards Survey in India finds that median CEO compensation has reached Rs 7.05 crore.

Senior executives may get 8.9% salary hike in 2022; Highest in 5 years: Aon survey
Not only is the average executive compensation increase highest in five years, but variable pay and equity grants have also risen as companies cannot risk losing key talent at senior levels as this has implications on delivering business performance.

Salaries of senior executives in India have increased 8.9 percent this year from 7.9 percent in 2021. Pay at Risk – which is the sum of Variable Pay and Long-Term Incentives (LTI) to Total Compensation – for CEOs stands at near 60 percent, with C-level executives, including the chief operating officer, chief financial officer, sales head and chief human resources officer, following closely behind at 50 percent, according to a recent survey conducted by Aon.

Aon plc, a leading global professional services firm, today released insights from its 2022 Executive Rewards Survey in India. The study, the largest and the most comprehensive of its kind in India, analysed data across 475 companies from more than 20 industries.

Commenting on the same, Nitin Sethi, partner and CEO, India for Human Capital Solutions at Aon, said, “Over the last few decades, a large percentage of India Inc has turned to outside talent instead of building from within. However, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, talent is in short supply and the cost of attracting, retaining and engaging leadership talent that grows business is rising rapidly. Not only is the average executive compensation increase highest in five years, but variable pay and equity grants have also risen as companies cannot risk losing key talent at senior levels as this has implications on delivering business performance.”

The annual Long-Term Incentive for CEOs on average is 125 percent of fixed pay. Most companies use a mix of performance and retention-based grants, with at least 50 percent of the grant amount linked to performance measures such as shareholder return, profit, revenue and cashflows.

Pritish Gandhi, Director and Practice Leader, India for the Executive Compensation and Governance Practice at Aon, said, “For determining LTI Quantum, Pay Mix, which is the LTI quantum as a percentage of fixed pay, continues to be the preferred method for India Inc. Progressive organizations are additionally looking at factors such as Total Target Ownership, which is LTI quantum as a percentage of equity, and Wealth Creation Potential, which is LTI Quantum percentage to target desired wealth creation at exercise, when determining LTI grants to compete effectively with new age start-ups. Companies must use a mix of performance and retention-based grants to retain their top executives.”

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