Salary survey: Top IT directors' pay almost doubles

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Earnings of top IT directors in City of London financial institutions have almost doubled in the past year, a survey by the search firm Harvey Nash shows.

The best paid quartile of IT heads received an average of 427,000 in salary plus bonus in the year ending early in 2001, up from 230,000 last year.

Almost all the increase was in higher bonuses. Salaries rose relatively moderately, to 145,420 in 2001 from 132,200 last year.

Earnings lower down the scale rose less dramatically. IT heads in the median quartile earned 189,400 in salary plus bonus in the latest year, compared to 155,500 last year.

Earnings in the lower quartile increased to 108,500 from 80,500 last year.

Simon La Fosse, a director at Harvey Nash, said: "Salaries have increased by a greater percentage than the median across all industries. City institutions seem to be able to bid for the best talent from an IT director's perspective."

It is a cultural thing, as city institutions' remuneration is less restricted and structured than other sectors such as retail, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals", he added.

La Fosse said bonuses might decline next year, depending on how the banks fare in the current economic uncertainty.