Ramos scores R30 million farewell payday from Absa

 ·2 May 2019

Retired Absa CEO Maria Ramos earned a total pay package of R29.7 million in her final year at the financial services company, topping off her decade as chief executive of the group.

Ramos announced her retirement from Absa in January 2019, with her plan to leave the company after her 60th birthday in February.

The board appointed former registrar of banks, and Absa non-executive director, René van Wyk as the group’s chief executive officer with effect from 1 March 2019 for an interim period, as it seeks new full-time leadership.

For the 2018 financial year, Absa reported headline earnings per share (HEPS) lower by 1% to R17.04 from R17.25, previously. This included R3.2 billion of separation costs, recognised as operating expenses.

Diluted normalised HEPS grew 4% to R19.10 from R18.45, while normalised headline earnings increased 3% to R16.1 billion compared with 2017 and revenue increased 4%, to R75.7 billion.

Return on equity improved to 16.8% from 16.5%; revenue grew 4% to R75.7 billion; operating expenses rose 5% to R43.6 billion; and the group’s dividend increased 4% to R11.10 per share.

As part of the group’s integrated report for the year ended December 2018, Absa revealed that Ramos took a pay cut in a year of major changes for the bank, which included a separation from Barclays, and a complete brand overhaul in local and international markets.

Ramos’ guaranteed pay was cut from just under R15 million in 2017, to R13.8 million in 2018, with a short-term incentive of R15.9 million – taking her total pay to R29.7 million for the year.

Though not paid out for 2018, the bank still lists a cost-to-company for Ramos of R10 million to be paid out in the 2019 financial year.

Absa paid a total of R74 million to its executive directors and R68 million to its prescribed officers, totalling R142 million for the year, averaging R15.8 million per executive.

After Ramos, Peter Matlare, deputy CEO for the rest of Africa took home the second largest amount at R20.3 million, followed by financial director, Jason Quinn with R17.6 million.

Ramos’ pay averages at around R81,400 per day, and is 49 times larger than the average salary at Absa – R606,030 (R24.76 billion for 40,856 employees).

Stats SA’s latest Quarterly Employment Survey, showed that the average employee in South Africa earned R20,190 a month, or R242,280 a a year – putting Ramos’ salary at 123 times greater.

The table below outlines what Absa’s top executives earned, and how that translates per day.

Employee Total Remuneration Average per day
M Ramos R29.71 million R81 400
P Matlare R20.32 million R55 700
J Quinn R17.62 million R48 300
A Rautenbach R16.76 million R45 900
M Harvey R14.44 million R39 560
T Ofong R14.37 million R39 370
N Nqweni R13.05 million R35 750
C Russon R9.29 million R25 450
D Hodnett R6.38 million R17 480
Absa average R606 030 R1 660
South Africa average R242 280 R650

Read: Standard Bank’s top 6 executives rake in over R225 million

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