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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 April 2007, 19:43 GMT 20:43 UK
Swiss bosses 'Europe's best paid'
Nestle is one of Switzerland's biggest companies
Board members in Swiss companies are the best paid in Europe, receiving more than twice as much pay as their European counterparts, a survey claims.

Swiss company directors pocketed an average 139,752 euros ($189,752, 94,648) last year, said recruitment consultancy Heidrick & Struggles.

This compares with an average 72,000 euros across the 10 nations surveyed.

Bosses in Spain were the next best paid on 96,099 euros per year, followed by UK directors on 92,701 euros.

French bosses came out bottom in the survey, earning just 43,529 euros on average.

The other countries surveyed included Sweden (43,659 euros), Netherlands (52,849 euros), Italy (53,983 euros), Belgium (58,202 euros), and Germany (74,923).

'Attracting the best'

Heidrick & Struggles added that executive pay across Europe has more than doubled since 1999, and by 14% in the last two years alone.

"This reflects a desire to attract higher calibre candidates, an increase in the responsibility of directors, and almost certainly, the changing risk profile," said the report.

Heidrick & Struggles spoke to 294 major companies in the 10 countries.

Some of Switzerland's biggest companies include food giant Nestle, bank Credit Suisse, and insurer Swiss Re.

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