Benefits and Compensation


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As the world continues to reel from the outfall of the European debt
crisis and global financial market turmoil, much interest is set to fall
on the salary increases and bonuses being awarded to top-level
executives in coming months.

While executive pay packages across the world have been the source of
sharp criticism in recent years, a leading executive head-hunter says
extravagance is likely to be tempered this time around.

“There will be far fewer bells and whistles added on to the salary
packages of top leadership in the current climate – whether they be
existing or new appointments,” says Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, Managing
Director of Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters and South African partner
of IRC Global Executive Search Partners.

“There is, for instance, a clear line in the sand with regards to bonus
payouts in the financial services sector, as several companies move
towards longer term deferred bonus payments,” she says.

“Furthermore, new payment structures continue to be introduced, such as
bonuses being paid out partly in cash and partly in shares or share

Goodman-Bhyat estimates that the “individual performance” element of the
bonus calculation is likely to be reduced to about 30-40% of the total
award, with the balance more closely linked to the company’s

“If the company is not doing well, the bonuses paid out will almost
certainly be smaller than executives have become used to.”

On the matter of increases, executives are also likely to take home a
less impressive raise than they have become accustomed to.

“In previous years, increases well over inflation rates were granted to
executive teams. However this year, increases are more likely to be
inflation-linked, with figures of between 6% and 8% expected to be the

Goodman-Bhyat says that the ongoing global financial crises have had a
sustained effect on the earning power of top executives.

“Although there remains a strong demand for attracting and retaining top
talent, many companies are increasingly tightening the purse strings in
an effort to weather uncertain and dark economic times, and executive
remuneration has not been immune to the effect of increased prudence.

“We continue to observe a fundamental restructuring of how top
executives and specialists are paid, more often resulting in a move away
from short term risk taking, in an attempt to instill a culture of
ethical governance, and a long term approach amongst professionals
tasked with driving growth in organisations.”

For more information contact:

Debbie Goodman-Bhyat at Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters on 021 425
6677 ( )

Mervyn Dziva at Lange 360 on 021 448 7407

About Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters

Jack Hammer provides a fresh approach to executive headhunting by
cutting through the ordinary. They have achieved this over the last
decade by using strategic research to drill down and expand their market
intelligence beyond the obvious and source the real gems of talent. The
knowledge gained in the process enables them to give clients a
competitive edge by ensuring they find the right executive talent – in a
manner that is both responsible and ethical.

Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, MD, Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters
Debbie entered the field of recruitment in 1998 with a financial
services headhunting firm, and within one year she was one of the top
billers in executive search in SA. In 2000 she established her own
executive search firm, diversified the industry focus, and then
partnered with Fusion Consulting in 2001. As the founder and Managing
Director of JACKHAMMER, she is an industry-leading headhunter, placing
top executives in SA’s leading corporates for more than 12 years. Her
unique style and vision may come from her somewhat unconventional
background as an award-winning contemporary dance choreographer,
director and dancer! Now, as an entrepreneur in the business world, she
maintains her passion for work and relentless drive to get it right.

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