NCE's research on the salaries of the top 20 civil engineering consultants' top brass shows that urishing companies are unafraid to reward their directors for improvements in performance.
It also shows that less successful companies are slow to penalise their bosses.
Our research shows that the better a company's performance, the higher its best paid director's salary.
NCE's research, which uses company reports and information from Companies House, shows correlations between the size and efficiency of firms and the salaries of the highest earning directors.
Mace has the highest paid director. Its top earner's salary was up 22% at £698,000, an increase of £128,000 on last year's £570,000.
This can be partly explained by the m's growth in 2005.
Turnover jumped from £182.8M in 2004 to £271M in 2005 an increase of 48%. Staff increased from 1,460 to 1,718, up 18%.
In 2004 Mace's turnover per head stood at £125,205 but in 2005 that gure leapt to £157,742, an efciency increase of 25% - not a world away from the 22% increase in the top earner's salary.
The link between a rm's highest salary and its performance is strong. At WSP turnover per head increased by 11% from £58,342 in 2004 to £64,760 in 2005, and its highest paid director received a salary uplift of 13% from £515,000 to £583,000.
At RPS, the rm's increased turnover matched the salary increase of its highest earner equally (31% and 30% respectively). Its top earner took a salary of £509,000 compared to £391,000 last year.
Decreases in performance were also re cted in falling amounts paid to top executives.
Atkins was one of just two companies in the top 20 to cut the top earner's salary, along with Scott Wilson.
Atkins' turnover per head fell by 18% and chief executive Keith Clarke's salary fell 10% from £696,000 in 2004 to £625,000 in 2005.