How much SA’s banking CEOs earn

A few banking executives stemmed ‘rocketing’ growth in salaries over the 2014 financial year, with Standard Bank, FNB and Absa’s top executives taking home slightly less than 2013.

Nedbank CEO, Mike Brown was once again the top earner in the retail banking sector, taking home a base salary of R7 million in 2014, with bonuses and share options pushing his final take to R35 million – a 7.7% increase from the year prior.

Looking at basic salaries alone, FirstRand’s chief executive, Sizwe Nxasana has the biggest guaranteed paycheque at R8.5 million, with bonuses pushing the final tally up to R29.5 million.

Absa bank boss, Maria Ramos, saw her pay shrink slightly to R28.5 million, down from R28.6 million in the year before.

By far the biggest “losers” in the banking sector were Standard Bank’s joint CEOs, Ben Kruger and Sim Tshabalala, who, after a tough year at the bank, saw their bonuses truncated, leading to a 34% and 15% dip in total earnings for the duo, respectively.

In 2014, Standard Bank suffered from a sub-par performance in its London operations, which saw flat growth in earnings for the financial year.

According to remuneration committee chairman, Ted Woods, the group held that accountability should be “inextricably linked” to remuneration, which saw the bank’s top executives take the blow.

Despite losing out on the bonuses, Standard Bank’s joint executives still took home paycheques totalling R19 million for Kruger, and R24.3 million for Tshabalala.

Two of the lowest earners for the sector in 2014 were relative newcomers to the top jobs – FNB CEO Jacques Celliers, who took over the reins at the bank from Michael Jordaan in 2014, as well as Capitec CEO, Gerrie Fourie, who took over from retired boss, Riaan Stassen.

Celliers’ paycheque of R13.5 million was a step under Jordaan’s pay of R22.1 million in 2013, though the latter exec still received R4 million from FNB in the year.

Fourie’s pay was a bit higher than Stassen’s final take at R10.3 million, including share options.

In total, the seven banking executives took home R160.2 million between them, at an average of R22.9 million each.

Banking CEO salaries, 2014 (2015, Capitec) in ZAR millions

Bank CEO Base salary Total package
Nedbank Mike Brown 7.050 35.050
FirstRand Sizwe Nxasana 8.488 29.488
Absa Maria Ramos 6.979 28.571
Standard Bank Sim Tshabalala 7.738 24.278
Standard Bank Ben Kruger 7.352 19.010
FNB Jacques Celliers 5.513 13.513
Capitec Gerrie Fourie 6.408 10.325
Banking CEO salaries 2014
Banking CEO salaries 2014 (Click to enlarge)

SA banking CEO salary increase/decrease, 2013/14 – 2014/15 (ZAR millions)

Bank CEO 2013/14 2014/15 Change
Capitec Gerrie Fourie 9.052 10.325 14.1%
FirstRand Sizwe Nxasana 26.039 29.488 13.3%
Nedbank Mike Brown 32.532 35.050 7.7%
Absa Maria Ramos 28.658 28.571 -0.3%
Standard Bank Sim Tshabalala 28.682 24.278 -15.4%
Standard Bank Ben Kruger 28.806 19.010 -34.0%
FNB Jacques Celliers 22.108 13.513 -38.9%

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How much SA’s banking CEOs earn