Exchange CEO Pay: “The Ocean’s 11”
I discussed “The Magnificent 7” of top earners amongst the world of exchanges / market structure, all with salaries above $10 million last week. Thanks for all the feedback and indeed, the coefficient of salary to market cap while an inexact measure is at least a handy snapshot to discern the relative pay to company size.
The Ocean’s 11 is not a scientific listing of the next group of CEO salaries in the world of exchanges down from the double digit millions group in “the Magnificent 7” but it is an interesting selection of participants from a series of varying market structure entities.
So please note this is not a ranking per se. Doubtless, others made more than $1 million and could qualify but it struck me as interesting to peruse the overall basis of these salaries as an illustrative snapshot of some leading bourse earners.
While his company trails in market cap terms just behind the leaders of Young’s Pyramid Tier 1 (CME, ICE, HKEX) the Refinitiv-expanded LSEG is at least not a crazed spendthrift on its top exec with David Schwimmer’s salary amounting to $7.96 million, not much more than half those of his peers (or barely a third of Terry Duffy’s $22.89 package which aroused shareholder dissent at the recent CME AGM) in Tier 1 of Young’s Pyramid of Exchanges.
The other CEOs here are predominantly running tier 2 Young’s pyramid entities with all making more than a million albeit Leila Fourie, the ‘lowest’ salaried CEO here made $1.03 million last year from JSE in South Africa.
Amongst the standout numbers are Schwimmer and DB1’s Theodor Weimer ($6.14). Albeit their pay amounts to barely 0.02% of the market cap of their companies, compared to the JSE boss who is at 0.17% alongside the TP ICAP boss Nicolas Breteau whose $2.13 million is a similar ratio to market capitalization. In the case of Nicolas Breteau, it doesn’t take low latency algo reactions to appreciate that his remuneration somewhat equates to being a reward for failure: an ongoing collapse in TP ICAP market capitalization even when there was a ‘go go’ bull market all those (circa 9 and a half) weeks ago.
By means of comparison, Flutter owns the Betfair exchange but is predominantly a gambling enterprise and their CEO is included here, Peter Jackson whose $1.15 million salary is a fraction — but 0.01% of his firm’s market cap. An interesting gap between the financial remuneration and other sectors?
It’s interesting to note that the relative to market cap salary of MarketAxess CEO Rich McVey ($5.74 m) is 0.06%, compared to the 0.1% ratio of Tradeweb’s CEO Lee Olesky who was in the Magnificent 7 rating I mentioned earlier.
One other point to ponder is how the ASX CEO is at the 0.03% salary/market cap ratio which is the equivalent of the likes of ICE and HKEX’s CEOs albeit the ASX CEO Dominic Stevens is now headed on a retirement path after the ongoing ignominious failure of the CHESS settlement upgrade programme despite his self-styling ASX as a “technology firm.”
There are lots of data points to ponder here and it’s an interesting comparison, albeit not intended to be scientific (see also my previous article for notes on the market cap / salary ratio calculations). However, it’s a fascinating series of points to ponder and indeed may provoke a water cooler moment or two. For instance, is the buccaneering dealmaker Stéphane Boujnah value for money at $3.2 million compared to his peers (I am minded to say yes… as he does deals and seems to integrate as well, if not better than, any previous Euronext management?).
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You can also check out the “Reflections From Young’s Pyramid”, it illustrates the relative value of exchanges around the world.
Or the “ICE Cost of Borrowing 2020–2022” An Interest Rate Comparison, which illustrates the end of the funny money era of QE and how interest rates have already had a major lurch up from their previous region of zero too, even negative, levels.
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