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Article | Executive Pay Memo – Western Europe

Executive pay data: looking beyond borders

Executive Compensation|Total Rewards|Future of Work
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By Dipti Sangolli and Manuel Montecelos | April 16, 2021

An increasing number of organisations are recognising the need for multiple market reference points for executive pay data.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated the pace of change and the trend towards flexible working. Willis Towers Watson’s recent Flexible Work and Rewards Survey (conducted in October 2020), covering 279 organisations across Western Europe, indicates that companies expect that 29% of their employees will be working from home in three years’ time (three years ago, only 6% were doing so). Further, 39% of respondents said that they were ‘not concerned with where work gets done for most roles’. This shift to new ways of working could have implications for the reward philosophy of many companies, not just for the wider employee population but also at the executive level.

While companies have traditionally benchmarked pay against local markets, an increasing number of organisations are recognising the need for multiple market reference points for executive pay data as they seek to access a global talent pool. Companies that respond to this need faster will have a competitive advantage.

In addition, our experience has shown that large multinational organisations may require reliable borderless market data at a pan-European or global level due to a number of reasons, such as:

  • The challenge of benchmarking executive roles in smaller countries or as entrants into new regions where there are limited comparators of similar size in the local market
  • A need for data from different countries developed from a relatively consistent group of companies on a borderless basis (for example, an industry-specific peer group on a regional or global level)
  • A need to understand broader pay levels for specific roles at a pan-European level

If you are a multinational company grappling with the challenge of accessing high-quality, borderless data that boards can trust, then Willis Towers Watson’s Borderless Reports can help.

Each year, we collect data on more than 120,000 executives from over 4,500 survey participants across more than 30 countries.

Each year, we collect data on more than 120,000 executives from over 4,500 survey participants across more than 30 countries and multiple industries. Apart from country-specific reports, companies can also purchase reliable borderless data through our pan-European Borderless Report or a Custom Borderless Report.

Key features of the reports are:

  • Europe Borderless Report – The report is presented by job, with data blended across twelve European countries (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK). This report is available online and covers 200+ executive benchmark job codes.
  • Custom Borderless Report (available to Global Executive Data Members) – The report is a customised report that is presented by job, with data blended across up to 30 countries and based on your unique peer group of organisations. This report covers all available job codes within the peer group.
  • Scope data captured and reported includes incumbent revenue responsibility, reporting level, board membership, geographic scope and global grade.

Data elements reported include:

  • Annual base salary amount
  • Fixed cash allowances
  • Annual bonus – actual, target, maximum, deferred
  • Actual and target total annual compensation
  • LTI fair values
  • Actual and target total direct compensation.

For more information on this report and how we can help you further, please contact your Willis Towers Watson consultant or Dipti Sangolli.

Contact

Dipti Sangolli
Associate Director - Data Services

Senior Director, Executive Compensation Practice Leader, Western Europe

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