The Public Image of Business People (Footballers versus Bankers)

In these tough economic times big business continues to be blamed for causing the financial crisis or of not doing enough to secure jobs. Any board member or senior executive is in the firing line of public abuse for any kind of financial reward.

The Government has joined the media in ridiculing and criticising firms for their lavish treatment of staff. Banks have been the main targets of scrutiny, grouped into one bucket regardless of division, role or responsibility. Your friendly branch teller on a measly salary is as guilty as the CEO who is paid a lot better.

We are not suggesting that these organisations are totally innocent. Yes, many acted with greed and carelessness that wiped millions from balance sheets. However one must consider the important role business, including banks play in helping the economy recover and making some positive contributions to society. Also remember that not everyone within these organisations is evil.

The strange thing is the microscopic analysis of senior executive pay. This has always been a sensitive pain point for everyone who isn’t earning 6 or 7 figures. Newspapers love publishing catchy headlines to stir up reader emotion. But… should business people not be rewarded for their effort and contributions to business? Why don’t people blink an eyelid about sport stars and celebrity pay packets?

The rather simplistic table below compares two of the highest paid in their respective fields. Footballer versus banker – who is most deserving?

Category Football Banking
Player Cristiano Ronaldo Jamie Dimon
Age 1985 (27) 1956 (56)
Occupation Forward Chairman, President and CEO
Team Real Madrid JP Morgan Chase & Co
Time in Job 2009-Present 2004-Present
Salary $38million $23million
Employees <10 c. 260,000
Performance in Current Role 89 Appearances, 98 Goals Q4-2011: Net Revenue $22,198m, EPS$0.90
Q4-2005: Net Revenue $14,955m, EPS$0.73
Career Highlights Various including Portuguese Footballer of the Year, FIFA World Player of the Year Avoided Credit Crunch, Maintained Share Price

Highest Paid Football Players
Highest Paid Bank CEOs (America)
Cristiano Ronaldo
Jamie Dilon
JP Morgan Chase
JP Morgan Chase Earnings


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