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State-owned companies refuse to believe the media data on the earnings of their bosses
Material posted: Publication date: 23-11-2012

Earlier this week Forbes published a rating of the most highly paid top managers of Russia. First on the list was the head of VTB group Andrey Kostin with unprecedented earnings at $ 30 million. For comparison, the head of Goldman Sachs Lloyd Blankfein was not such a successful financier in 2011 his income was 21.7 million dollars. VTB immediately denied the media data on the earnings of his head, noting that the numbers were taken "from the ceiling". After a few days, a similar reaction followed from Sberbank, its head German Gref was ranked fourth.

The earnings rating of the Russian top managers of Forbes is for the first time. The magazine already has a project "the Rating of salaries", but this is only a list of Russian industries with the highest wages.

For his new Forbes chose 70 companies with the largest revenue for 2011; the list does not included state corporations and companies controlled by the shareholders (RUSAL, Severstal, Sibneft). Data on the earnings of managers in the publication appeared as a result of studying the official statements of the poll a dozen consultants recruiting senior level; in addition, the information helped unnamed sources.

Representatives of the oil and gas industry, which is in the "top salaries" in 2011, holds the first place, are unable to compete with the banker Kostin - the head of "Gazprom" Alexey Miller and the head of "Rosneft" Igor was Casinocasinos on the second and third places with compensation at $ 25 million each.

Fourth and fifth places also went to husbanken - Gref ($15 million) and the Chairman of the Board Bank of Moscow ("daughter" VTB Bank) Mikhail Kuzovlev(15 million dollars). The first "owner" of the list was the General Director of "ONEKSIM" Dmitry Razumov ($12 million). The woman in the ranking is only one - is the head of Basic element Gulzhan Moldazhanova compensation of four million dollars.

Leadership representatives of state-owned companies - the largest companies on the Russian market comes as no surprise, but the size of earnings was unexpected. As told to Forbes by one of the headhunters, top managers of state companies in Russia want to earn as much as their Western counterparts. In the U.S., for example, the highest-paid banker, according to Bloomberg, is considered one of the founders of private equity Fund KKR Henry Kravis (Henry Kravis), which in 2011 earned just $ 30 million.

Data on income Costin can be compared with the earnings of managers of Western banks. For example, the "king of risk management" James Dimon (James Dimon) - the head of the world's largest finorganizatsii JPMorgan Chase - received in 2011 for 42 million dollars. Only we must remember that the assets of the JPMorgan Chase account for 2.3 trillion dollars, while at VTB this indicator is ten times less, and the profit of the American Bank six times higher than the income of VTB - 19 billion to three billion dollars.

VTB on the same day has denied the information of Forbes, describing them as taken "from the ceiling". "Littletransparent the method of calculations of experts has forced the publication to stand on shaky ground of speculation and assumptions", - has exposed journalists to the press service of the state Bank. In the message it was specified that the Board of the state Bank in 2011 received payments for 608 million (19.2 million dollars). The rebuttal was surprisingly, if I may say so, emotional. "According to the logic of Forbes, apparently, the members of the management Board of VTB forced to pay extra for the privilege of working as a team with Kostin", - noted in a press release.

The state Bank reported data to official statements, according to which all top managers of the VTB group in 2011, has received 5,7 billion roubles. "Probably, Forbes considers that Andrey Kostin and Mikhail Kuzovlev together earned almost a quarter of all income of their colleagues. This logic is completely incorrect in terms of calculations, and most importantly - common sense", - concluded at the state Bank.

Then came the reply of the magazine: Forbes wrote in an editorial comment to the rating that Kostin receives money not only in VTB, but also in foreign companies. As an example, the publication cited data on Cyprus, Russian Commercial Bank (RCB), owned by VTB and allegedly several minority shareholders from among top managers of the group: in 2011-2012 the Fi has paid $ 200 million of dividends. VTB, in turn, said that none of the members of the management Board of VTB is not a beneficiary of the RCB.

In this "war of press releases" seemed to be finished, but there it was: three days after the publication of the rating of "woke up" savings. Russia's largest Fi has posted a message stating that the remuneration Gref "significantly less" provided in the rating numbers. The Fi has called Forbes and other media outlets not to create "imaginary sensations". "Sberbank disappointed that Forbes magazine uses unverified data, and expresses the hope that in the future respected publication will not publish false information", - reported in the rebuttal.

Apart from denials from the banks themselves, Forbes publication caused a strong reaction of society. Seemingly no one doubted that the heads of the largest companies in the country earn well. On the other hand, while the authorities are struggling to convince the Russians that all the income of state-owned companies - for the citizens, a considerable part of the gain, as it turned out, still go to the pockets of top managers.

Nice to live not forbid

The Russian government is not eager to limit the income of their representatives in the business, whereas in the West after the 2008 crisis follow-UPS even private banks. Attempts to "rein in" salaries in state-owned companies have been made more than once. Immediately after the financial crisis, the then Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin studied this issue, but further discussion is not gone.

At the end of last year, Dmitry Medvedev, held the post of President, demanded that 21 of the state Bank and state-owned companies to disclose information about the income of managers and their close relatives. As he wrote in July, the newspaper "Vedomosti" , citing unnamed sources, the officials even offered to agree to information in the tax returns became publicly available. In March, the then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and is invited to judge the heads of state companies for concealment of income. State-owned companies themselves disclose information about the total payments to top management, but never ascertain the quantity of the salaries of individual managers.

In may this year a group of deputies have prepared amendments, offering, as in many Western organizations, to restrict the salaries of executives such amount that would exceed the earnings of the lowest paid employee of the state-owned companies is not more than 10-16 times. In September, a similar initiative was made by the Communist party, proposing to limit the income of top managers of state companies on the salaries of Ministers - about 170 thousand rubles a month.

In General, for the last couple of years, the authorities have made some effort to show that officials closely associated with the leaders of state-owned companies are not masters, but servants of the people. The goal is certainly noble, but the quality of workmanship, according to Forbes, is regrettable.

Sergey Kozlovsky




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