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INSURANCE SECTOR GOVERNANCE ROLE DRIVERS / SCOPE OF ROLE
With the financial sector under increasing scrutiny following a series of scandals over the last seven years, recognition of the importance of the role of the company secretarial team in insurance companies has increased to unprecedented levels. The reputational damage the financial sector has suffered has driven increased legislation, while headlines about hacking and data loss have increased awareness of the need to address cyber risks further increasing governance responsibilities.
INSURANCE SECTOR REMUNERATION SUMMARY:
- Financial rewards in the insurance and finance sectors are the most generous of any sectors.
- For larger insurance companies pay tends to be in line with FTSE 100 companies
- For smaller groups, private and limited companies pay is typically in line with mid-cap to FTSE 250 companies.
- Exceptions: financial performance and differing corporate aspirations mean that there are exceptions to the points above. Small companies looking to build a reputation for attracting top talent will pay in line with FTSE 100 companies while large companies operating under financial constraints may pay below market rates.
TRAINEE COMPANY SECRETARY TO COMPANY SECRETARIAL ASSISTANT
While CoSec salaries are not lock stepped, junior level salary increases will typically be in line with wider company rises and the best chances of a significant salary rise are often from moving company. This may not be a realistic option for candidates studying for a professional qualification who will generally be tied to their employer by ‘clawback’ clauses in their contracts. On passing their exams, candidates are likely to receive an increase of 5-10%.
- Salary: £25,000-£45,000 depending on experience
- Bonus: 5-10%
- Car allowance: rare but minimum £3,000
- Pension: 8% to 20%
ASSISTANT COSEC TO SENIOR ASSISTANT COSEC/ JUNIOR DEPUTY COSEC
Both salaries and wider benefits packages increase rapidly as candidates become more experienced. Further to increasingly generous bonuses candidates will find some firms pay a city living allowance, provide access to their share awards scheme, and improve healthcare and pension awards.
The variation in the value of benefits packages means that two roles advertised as paying £55,000 may vary in total remuneration by more than £10,000.
- Salary: £45,000 - £80,000
- Bonus: 15-25%
- Car allowance: rare – min £3,000
- Pension: 15% to 30%
SENIOR DEPUTY & GROUP COMPANY SECRETARY ROLES
The variation in benefits packages increases yet further for senior company secretarial roles. While many companies cap bonuses at between 30% and 50% of salary, some companies will offer bonuses of up to 300% to reflect loyalty, outstanding performance and contribution to key strategic projects. Companies with weaker benefits schemes often use a higher base to help them compete for the top talent. Cash car allowances, city living allowances, share schemes / share award scheme, family healthcare rather than personal and pension schemes also become more generous at this level. Long Term Incentives Plans designed to tie employees to the company are forming an increasing percentage of benefits packages as regulators look to crack down on a perceived short term, high risk, profiteering culture in the financial sector and companies seek to retain key individuals.
- Salary: £80,000 - £210,000
- Bonus: 25-50%+
- Car allowance: £7-12k
- Pension: senior 25% to 35+%
Insurance companies and most other Financial Services Groups’ have the most attractive pension schemes of any business sector. On average, a contributory pension is met by an employer at around 10%. However, some institutions can deliver outstanding pension schemes of up to 30% combined contributions for senior staff.
Cash bonuses in the insurance sector are typically 10-15% higher compared with mainstream commerce and industry. Given the regularity of the payout, 40% of employees regard bonuses as deferred pay rather than an incentive, however similar numbers perceive bonuses to be an incentive for employees to perform above expectations and encourage loyalty.
While Long Term Investment Plans (LTIPs), i.e. bonus schemes delivered through shareholder schemes, usually start at the Deputy Company Secretary level, 15% of departments we spoke with had an entry level LTIP arrangement for their senior Assistant Company Secretaries.
ABOUT CAR ALLOWANCES
65% of companies offer a car allowance averaging £8,000 per annum at the senior level (max £12,000 per annum) and £5,000 for the junior grades (min £3,000 per annum). It is worth noting that a car allowance is a non-pensionable benefit. For those companies that do not offer a car or car allowance, season ticket loans are often used as an alternative tax-efficient benefit.
SECURING THE BEST SALARY
Candidates looking to secure the best salaries should:
1. Ensure that they are able to demonstrate the role they played in key projects; and the value of those projects to the business.
2. Look to take on as much responsibility as possible: managing staff, taking responsibility for key initiatives etc. Company secretaries with at least three reports earn on average 15% more than their report-free counterparts.
3. While some companies proactively reward loyal, talented individuals in key roles, many candidates continue to find that they need to look beyond their current company to secure market rates.
4. Consider moving to a smaller CoSec team. Larger company secretarial teams will often have little room for flexibility as salary levels are dictated by established bandings. The salary bandings in smaller company secretarial teams tend to be much looser if they exist at all.
LISTED INSURANCE COMPANIES
Group Company Secretary
Deputy Company Secretary
£80,000 - £150,000
Head of Secretariat
£80,000 - £110,000
Assistant Company Secretary
£50,000 - £80,000
Senior Company Secretarial Assistant (2 –5 years’ experience)
£35,000 - £50,000
£35,000 - £45,000
Company Secretarial Assistant (1 – 2 years’ experience)
£26,000 - £35,000
£24,000 - £30,000
PRIVATE INSURANCE COMPANIES
£70,000 - £150,000
Deputy Company Secretary / Governance Manager
£65,000 - £90,000
Assistant Company Secretary
£55,000 - £75,000
£35,000 - £45,000
Company Secretarial Assistant
£20,000 - £36,000
INDEPENDENT AND LLOYD’S
£60,000 - £120,000
Deputy Company Secretary/ CoSec Manager
£50,000 - £80,000
Assistant Company Secretary/CoSec Executive
£32,000 - £45,000
£30,000 - £36,000