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Brazil Surprises with the Best Salaries in the World for High Level Executive Positions

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Peter Felix, AESC president, says the high salaries paid in Brazil currently attract foreign executives.

A ranking of wages conducted with senior executives in Sao Paulo, New York, London, Singapore and Hong Kong had a surprising result: Brazilians are the best paid. The survey only covers base salary and therefore does not include bonuses, stocks or the thirteenth salary in Brazil (each year every employee is awarded a thirteenth payment of the monthly salary). Still, the paychecks of a CEO of the industrial sector in Sao Paulo comes at an average of U.S. $ 620,000 a year and a director U.S. $ 243 000 - in New York they receive, respectively, U.S. $ 574,000 and $ 213,000.

The survey results surprised even executives who had left Brazil, "The foreigners had no idea that the country was paying so well. Even the Brazilians who are working abroad had that notion, "says Adriana Prates, president of Dasein Executive Search, who led the survey of 80 senior professionals.

Among the respondents are CEOs and executives in the automotive, steel, metallurgy,mining, construction among others. These are companies with between 1,000 to 15,000 employees. "In the financial market this figure is even higher," said Adriana Prates. It is worth remembering, according to the headhunter, that variable remuneration is very representative of Brazil. "In some cases the difference reaches 23 extra payments a year."

In parallel, the same poll was conducted by the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC), through the website BlueSteps, with another 42 senior executives. The results were similar and the ranking order remained the same. "It was a surprise to see Brazil's leadership. I believe the fact that the economy is expanding and there is a shortage of talent help explain the high wages," said Peter Felix, President of AESC, an international association which brings together more than 300 executive search firms.

A curious fact is that the majority of survey respondents believed that the AESC result would be quite different. Half of those who participated in the survey were sure New York would top the list, 44% gambled in Hong Kong and 39% in London. More that 80% expected that Brazil figured in last place. "The study showed that they were mistaken," says Peter Felix. "For many years, the country experienced a political and economic instability that did not qualify it as a promising destination for senior executives. Now things have changed. "

Although the change of scenery in Brazil and high wages are appealing for anyone who is in another country, some factors still discourage executives, "Personal security is still a serious problem that discourages foreigners. This needs to be resolved by the government," said Felix.

According to the headhunter, there is an increasing number of executive search firms in Brazil seeking professionals in other countries to meet the high demand for skilled professionals. "They are looking for candidates around the world," he says.

The president of Dasein said that the converse is also true. In recent months, their company has received resumes from several foreign executivesin search of opportunities in Brazil. "Many Brazilians who are abroad also come to us. They want to seize this good moment to return, “she says.

In both cases, however, she says they have little information about the real value of salaries currently, oneof the reasons that motivated the research.

The headhunter also said that foreign ignorance is also large in relation to the "modus operandi” of organizations in Brazil. Recently, a Danish executive was surprised when he discovered that a director met working hours up to 16 hours per day. "He believed that people worked here five hours and then went to the beach. When he saw the reality of our business, he gave up," she said, "It was a shock to him."

This article was orginally published in Valor Economico, the biggest and most respected newspaper in Brazil.

About BlueSteps.com

BlueSteps.com is an online career management service for global senior executives. As an exclusive service of the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC), BlueSteps enables senior executives to be visible to over 6,000 AESC member retained executive search professionals. For more information, please visit www.BlueSteps.com.

About The Association of Executive Search Consultants

The Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) is the worldwide professional association for the retained executive search industry. The AESC's mission is to promote the highest professional standards in retained executive search consulting, broaden public understanding of the search process, and serve as an advocate for the interests of its member firms. For more information, or to view the AESC Code of Ethics and Professional Practice Guidelines, visit www.aesc.org.

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