How much do co-operatives pay their directors?

While it is hard to make broad comparisons on how businesses choose to remunerate their directors, the analysis reveals an interesting difference between the level of remuneration received...

While it is hard to make broad comparisons on how businesses choose to remunerate their directors, the analysis reveals an interesting difference between the level of remuneration received by non-executive directors of agricultural co-operatives and retail co-operatives.

Non-executive director pay at comparable co-operatives and plcs
Non-executive director pay at comparable co-operatives and plcs

 

Among agricultural co-operatives, while there is an understandable difference between smaller and larger businesses, non-executive directors are compensated on a level with plc counterparts in the sector.

A direct comparison between two similarly sized businesses shows that Wynnstay plc, with gross sales of £414m last year, gives non-executive directors £30,525 a year, while First Milk co-operative, with gross sales of £432m, compensates at £35,539.

Milk Link (now part of the international dairy co-operative Arla) turned over £628m and gave £66,929 to non-executive directors, whereas NWF Group plc turned over £549m and remunerated directors £44,167 each.

Non-executive directors of retail co-operatives, on the other hand, are compensated at a significantly lower level than plc competitors.

Again, the differences between large and small co-operatives are marked. Remuneration ranges from £4,049 a year for Chelmsford Star directors to an average of £42,625 for directors of the Co-operative Group.

When co-op and plc businesses of a similar size are examined, though, the differences are clear. While the £13bn-gross sales Co-operative Group remunerates directors an average of £42,625 a year, the £18bn-gross sales Morrisons plc remunerates at £125,600 – nearly three times that of the Group.

Similarly, the Dunelm Group plc – which turned over £677m in 2013 – compensated directors at an average rate of £50,000 a year. This is more than five times as much as Midcounties, which had far higher gross sales of £943m but remunerated directors at just £8,035.

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