Made in India: Bargain Finance Execs

A global pay survey finds the highest finance, marketing, and HR director salaries are in the U.S., followed by the U.K., with the best "bargains" found in India.

Global companies looking to cut costs by basing more finance, marketing, and HR directors overseas may gain some support from a new survey from Mercer Human Resource Consulting.

The 15-country Mercer survey, not surprisingly, shows U.S.-based executives in those fields earning the highest salaries. But it finds that finance and marketing directors are paid five times more than their counterparts in India, with HR directors earning more than four times as much.

“Compensation has long been driven by such factors as historic pay levels, size of economy and competition for talent,” notes Steve Gross, global leader of broad-based rewards for Mercer. “As companies become more globally mobile and can shift some jobs to lower-cost locations, these new considerations will have a big impact on pay levels among countries.”

More than 2,300 organizations from 50 countries responded to the Mercer 2007 Global Pay Summary, which measures base salary and total cash compensation for 50 job positions, and provide the benchmark data to multinationals charged with setting pay levels around the world.

The survey recorded U.S. based financial-director base pay as $248,700 on average, 23 percent higher than the next-highest level, the U.K. In terms of total cash, the annual average was $315,800 in the U.S., 21 percent higher than the number-two U.K. with $261,154. The annual base salary in India for finance directors was $55,652, with total cash being $62,721.

Similar differences were recorded in comparing annual pay for U.S. marketing directors ($205,000 in base salary and $266,000 in total cash) and U.S. human-resources directors ($190,000 and $241,700).

The lowest pay levels in all three job categories were found in India, Hungary, China/Shanghai, and Poland.

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