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March 12, 2011

CEO Salaries Compared Across World:

WHERE does a senior manager cost most? Brazil, according to the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC), a trade body. Two recent surveys, one by the AESC and the other by a Brazilian headhunter, Dasein Executive Search, found that chief executives and company directors earned more in São Paulo, Brazil’s business capital, than in New York, London, Singapore or Hong Kong (see chart). The surveys compared base salary, but bonuses in Brazil are generous too, says David Braga of Dasein. And the comparison understates the cost of hiring in Brazil: its payroll taxes are among the world’s highest.

Part of the reason for runaway executive pay is booming demand for staff, at all levels. Brazil, China and India are all seeing strong growth in employment. But according to Manpower, another employment agency, the mismatch between supply and demand is starkest in Brazil, where 64% of employers report difficulty filling vacancies, against 40% in China and 16% in India. Managers with technical backgrounds are especially scarce in Brazil: big oil finds and infrastructure plans mean demand is soaring, but Brazil turns out just 35,000 engineers a year, against India’s 250,000 and China’s 400,000.

The strength of the real artificially boosts Brazil’s position in international pay comparisons. But even as executive pay is growing by double digits a year, says Edilson Camara of Egon Zehnder, a headhunting firm. Senior managers in China and India are reaping similar gains, but from a lower base. Multinationals that used to run their Latin American operations from Miami, Mexico or Buenos Aires have mostly shifted to São Paulo; China and India are still often overseen from Singapore or Hong Kong, though Shanghai is becoming more popular. A wave of foreign takeovers, and forays abroad by Brazilian firms, have both increased demand for managers with international experience. ( Source : Economist)