Chief executives of companies listed in Malta earned a median annual salary of €267,000 in 2022 when adding up the fixed and variable parts of their remuneration, as well as their perks and benefits.
This newsroom delved into the public financial statements of listed Maltese companies and performed a comparative analysis based on the remuneration report that is recommended by the code of principles of good corporate governance and the capital market rules issued by the MFSA.
The highest salary in 2022 was earned by the CEO of RS2 Software plc, Radi Abd El Haj, whose compensation aggregated to €1,010,127. When adding his salary from one of the company’s subsidiaries, his final annual emolument went up to €1,130,127. RS2 Software plc group, a leading provider of omni/multichannel payment software and end-to-end payment solutions, reported slower revenue (three per cent drop) and a declining software licensing solutions (21 per cent drop) for 2022, yet Mr El Haj explained that the company made strong progress and executed its key strategic priorities, which positioned RS2 to increase the pace of growth in 2023.
Among those CEOs who received a salary other than their director’s fees, CEO of Plaza Centres plc, received the lowest compensation in 2022 that stood at just above €91,000. In 2022 the company registered a pre-tax profit of €1.2 million as the company returned to pre-COVID normality.
The banking sector stood out in terms of its generosity when it came to compensate its CEOs. The sector’s median salary in 2022 stood at €590,000, with Simon Vaughan Johnson, CEO of HSBC Bank Malta plc, leading the banking pack with an aggregate salary of €800,646. This also includes shares amounting to €111,553 related to performance for the year. 2022 has been a year of growth for this sector with the largest banks reporting profits before tax significantly above those of 2021.
Most CEOs also received a significant increase in compensation over the year 2022 when compared to the previous year. The median salary change stood at a positive 8.4 per cent, with Javier Moreno Gonzales of Mapfre Middlesea plc, and Adrian Alejandro Gostuski of FIMBank plc enjoying notable increases of 29 per cent and 24 per cent respectively.
Christian Sammut, CEO of BMIT Technologies plc, on the other hand, saw his salary drop by 10.4 per cent, from the €282,035 of 2021 to €252,648 of 2022. This drop can be mostly attributed to a fall in the variable component of his salary as it went down to €90,526 when compared to the previous year’s €120,218 based on pre-established EBITDA targets established by the board.
Interesting to note was that in 2022 MIA CEO Malta International Airport plc, Alan Borg, received an improved salary of €206,866 after he had, for two consecutive years, requested a 30 per cent cut in compensation due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. His salaries were €193,696 and €180,766 for the years 2021 and 2020 respectively.
The only three female CEOs of the Maltese listed companies are Jennifer Falzon, CEO of Malita Investments plc, who received a salary of €98,000 in 2022, Elizabeth Kan, CEO of Grand Harbour Marina plc, who, according to published financial statements, does not receive any form of remuneration from the company, and Ms Denise Xuereb of AX Real Estate plc, for whom the company only disclosed the basic directorship component of her aggregate salary.*
*In the first version of this story it was erroneously reported that there were only two female CEOs of Maltese listed companies.