Mercer: US Exec Salaries Lead the Globe

March 30, 2006 ( - Senior US executives earn the highest salaries and annual total cash globally, according to a Mercer Human Resource Consulting survey.

The research, which covers pay for finance, marketing, and HR directors in 14 countries worldwide, found that finance and marketing directors earn more than five times their counterparts in India, while HR directors pull in three times as much.

US-based finance directors, at $250,000 on average, are followed by those in Canada and the UK, who receive around $186,400 and $180,300 respectively. Their counterparts in Hong Kong, Italy, and Germany also pull in above-average base pay, at $168,500, $159,000, and $154,400.

Annual total cash for finance directors follows the same trend as base pay, according to Mercer. US-based finance directors are the highest paid, earning annual total cash of $324,600 on average, followed by those in Canada and the UK, who receive approximately $262,700 and $236,600, respectively, according to the survey.

At the lower end of the spectrum, finance directors in Hungary and India receive less than average for this position – a base salary of approximately $59,800 and $53,800. Average base pay for this role in Poland is $108,200.

Mark Edelsten, a principal at Mercer, commented: “In many organizations, finance directors are the second-highest-paid individuals, receiving only slightly less than the CEO. The scope of their role has widened in recent years as new regulatory burdens and risk management responsibilities make them increasingly accountable for company governance.”

Meanwhile, base pay for marketing directors ranges between $203,100 in the US and $40,000 in India. Following those in the US are those in Italy and the UK, who are paid around $169,100 and $167,800. Marketing directors in the US also receive the most annual total cash, followed by those in the UK, Germany, and Italy.

While Hungary and Poland still feature toward the bottom of the rankings, pay for marketing directors in these countries is higher ($91,000 and $110,600, respectively) than that for finance directors, Mercer researchers found.

Finally, HR director is the lowest paid role of the three positions covered. The best paid HR directors are found in the US, UK, and Germany where employees can earn $175,000, $161,900, and $160,500 respectively. Annual total cash offered for this position is highest in Germany, at $227,500, followed by $219,000 in the US and $202,500 in the UK.

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