Speaking of wage containment in the Spanish business hierarchy always requires a footnote. And is that any sign of austerity must always be put in context, and that context is that it's about unattainable salaries for the rest of the workers of those companies. With this clarification, in 2018 the aggregate remuneration received by the members of the board of directors of the Ibex 35 companies totaled 297.67 million euros. This amount, which does not include the data of Inditex and ArcelorMittal, represents a decrease of 9.87% with respect to what the administrators earned in 2017. The fall is mainly due to the fact that last year the bonuses and indemnities, that there were, were lower than those charged a year earlier.
An example of the impact of lower variable incentives is Acciona. The counselors of the construction company, controlled by the Entrecanales family received 6.86 million euros as a whole, 60% less than in 2017, when its executive directors were awarded millionaire share packages. A similar case is repeated in companies such as Ferrovial, Banco Sabadell, ACS or Cie Automotive. In this last company, the council's remuneration fell by 70% due to the fact that in 2017 its CEO, Jesús María Herrera, executed a stock option plan valued at 17 million euros, which made it the best paid for the company. Spanish stock exchange
Rafael Villaseca, former CEO of Naturgy, won 15.45 million for the settlement
While there was some contention in the remuneration packages of the Ibex councils after years of notable increases, the salary party continued for members of senior management. This group, which includes executives who are not executive directors, received a total of 387.74 million last year, a figure that implies an improvement of 6.6% in year-on-year terms. The directors of Ferrovial, for example, distributed 23.1 million, 46% more than in 2017. The increase (112%) in the payroll of Telefonica's senior management was also significant, although in its case it is mainly due to the more than 10 million that he received last year in compensation for the dismissal of the former Secretary General, Ramiro Sánchez de Lerín. In the case of Bankinter, the top management of the financial institution almost doubled its salary.
The executive who charged the most in 2018 was the former CEO of Naturgy (formerly Gas Natural Fenosa). Rafael Villaseca received a total of 15.45 million euros, an amount that includes a settlement of 14.24 million when he was replaced by Francisco Reynés. Waiting to know what the president of Inditex, Pablo Isla, and the CEO of ACS, Marcelino Fernández Verdes, charged in 2018, the second highest salary of the Ibex 35 corresponded to Ana Botín. The president of Banco Santander collected 11.01 million euros for all items (including the contribution to her pension). The CEO of Santander, José Antonio Álvarez, received a payment of 9 million.
Another of the executives who are always in the top positions in the salary scale is José Ignacio Sánchez Galán. The president of Iberdrola won in 2018 a total of 9.55 million euros. In the case of BBVA, the new president, Carlos Torres, earned 6.10 million (including pension). For its part, Telefónica's chief executive, José María Álvarez-Pallete, earned 6.09 million. Six million dollars in compensation were also paid by the CEO and Merlin Properties CEO, Ismael Clemente and Miguel Ollero, respectively.