The best place to make money in the world of finance and investment may not be at a bank but in real estate.
Real-estate investment trusts had some of the highest median worker pay among financial, real-estate and insurance companies in 2018, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of annual pay disclosures by hundreds of big U.S. companies. Property companies such as
paid their median employees more than some of the largest banks did.
Host Hotels & Resorts, the lodging REIT formed through deals including a spinoff over 20 years ago from what was Marriott Corp., had median worker pay of $183,956, the highest of any company in the sectors. The company has about 180 employees, all of whom work in the U.S., according to its latest proxy filing. Host Hotels & Resorts didn’t respond to requests for comment. REITs often contract out lower-wage operations, leaving higher-paid professionals on their own payrolls.
HCP, a health-care REIT with about 200 employees, posted the third-highest median pay of $156,921. The exchange operator Cboe Global Markets Inc. had the second-highest median worker pay, at $159,496.
HCP didn’t respond to requests for comment. A Cboe spokeswoman said the company’s compensation plan takes into account expertise and tenure.
led big banks with median worker pay of $142,604, followed closely by
Goldman Sachs Group
at $136,513. But banks with more retail branches including tellers and other lower-wage workers were more likely to report median pay around $65,000.
& Co., the largest bank in the U.S., paid a median of $78,923.
Of the six largest U.S. banks,
had the lowest median pay figure at $49,766, about $10,000 less than the Midwest regional bank U.S. Bancorp. Wells Fargo & Co. posted median pay of $65,191.
Slightly over a third of Citigroup’s more than 200,000 employees work in North America, according to its latest proxy statement. A spokesman for Citigroup declined to comment beyond the filing.
The financial data company
had the lowest median pay of $15,331 among the sectors. A company spokeswoman said most of FactSet’s employees are based outside the U.S. She said the employee with the median pay was located in the company’s Hyderabad, India, office, where 34% of its 9,571 employees are based.
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The companies with the lowest median worker pay reported by S&P 500 companies in the financial, real-estate and insurance sectors were
at $26,738, and the real-estate and self-storage company Public Storage, at $24,909. A spokesman for S&P Global, the financial-information firm, said that 75% of its workforce is outside the U.S. and that its median employee provides junior professional services in the Asia-Pacific region. Of Public Storage’s nearly 5,400 employees, 83% work at its self-storage facilities and are paid on an hourly basis, according to its latest proxy filing.
Most publicly traded firms are disclosing their median employee pay for a second straight year, along with compensation for top executives. Firms are asked to include part-time and temporary workers, but not contractors, and have the option of giving annual pay for some midyear hires. Companies may exclude up to 5% of their global workforce, but only non-U.S. workers, and may use sampling techniques to identify the median employee.
The Journal analysis, which includes more than 1,300 companies, combined the financial, real-estate and insurance sectors as defined by S&P Global. Those sectors include industry groups encompassing banks, REITs, insurance, capital markets and consumer finance.
— Sector median — Subgroup median
companies to disclose the total compensation of their median employee starting with the first fiscal year that began after Jan. 1, 2017. The same regulations require companies to calculate the median employee’s total compensation with the same
method used to determine total pay for chief executives. However, companies have substantial discretion regarding the types of pay used to identify their median employees. Companies are grouped with the primary industry sector and industry group
assigned to them by S&P Global Market Intelligence. For this article,
Check out this interactive link for the full ranking of companies or to search for a specific company or industry.
Write to Patrick Thomas at Patrick.Thomas@wsj.com