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Zurich bosses take home record pay packets

The 11 bosses of Zurich Financial Services awarded themselves a combined pay package of SFr37 million in 1999, according to a Sunday newspaper. The huge increase conspicuously failed to match the firm's share performance.

Bonuses, share options and fringe benefits pushed the pay packets of Zurich Financial Services' bosses to new heights last year, according to the report in the SonntagsZeitung.

The president, Rolf Hüppi, came away with the largest award of SFr5,2 million, after selling some of his share options.

Seven new members of management did very well, too, taking home pay packets in excess of SFr2,6 million each.

This contrasts with 1998, when only three members of senior management were awarded remuneration packets on such a scale.

The rises were justified on the basis that salaries of top management must be in line with those in other countries. It was also pointed out that the firm had seen its profits rise by 16 per cent (or approx. SFr5 billion) in 1999.

However, the pay rises, averaging 21 per cent more than in 1998, were five per cent higher than the rise in profits, and were awarded even though Zurich Allied's share price conspicuously failed to match the overall index of blue chip stocks on the Zurich bourse.

swissinfo with agencies

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