Commentary by Forbes J. Rutherford, President of Rutherford International Executive Search Group Inc.

Toronto, Canada

Topic: Salary Trends In North America - What To Expect In Less Than 10 Years

Forbes Rutherford has provided specialized HR consulting and Executive Search services to both national and international property and investment firms for the past twenty-one years. Having dealt with a broad cross section of the industry’s senior executives and rising stars, Mr. Rutherford is in a unique position to observe the changing macro trends and oncoming challenges facing the Canadian and International real estate community. Additional information on Mr. Rutherford’s background may be viewed at the following web links: or

Salary Trends In North America - What Are You Worth?
We expect the North American economy to undergo a series of chaotic disruptions throughout the forthcoming years as it adjusts to the realities of an emerging second world (India and China), which is rapidly advancing through its industrialization and meeting the first world head-on in knowledge driven high value manufacturing and the provision of professional services.

Contrary to the WTO efforts, the world is carving itself into trading blocks and as a defensive posture; it's very likely the North American economy will become more not less united. As a result, the median range of Canada's Total Cash Compensation paid to employees is apt to align with that of their American counterparts over the next ten years.

Apart from an intertwining of North America's economy, additional factors contributing to this North American equalization of Total Cash Compensation are: flexible retention strategies to offset transient and lifestyle career planning that is endemic to professionals under age 35; aggressive cross-border recruitment due to skill shortages and knowledge gap caused by mass retirements; NAFTA sponsored North-South labor mobility, tax reform to offset tax bracket shopping and release human capital into wealth creating endeavors (State and Provincial governments will compete for high value workers tomorrow in the same manner as they compete for business investment today. As well, far too much of Canada and the U.S.A.'s intellectual capital is pre-occupied with income tax collection, compliance and planning.); demand for private health insurance due to deterioration of Canada's public health care system, and the Canadian petroleum and aqua dollar holding its value against the Greenback. All of these factors will symbiotically link the two major North American economies and align compensation rates over the coming decade.

        Salary Wizard (We anticipate greater alignment of Canadian real estate compensation with American compensation ranges. Canadian compensation tends to be high base compensation with average bonus, which isn't always tied effectively to performance; however the American structure is quite the reverse - average base pay with aggressive performance based bonuses. Canadian real estate professionals should use this link to get a sense of where compensation is going for their particular function. Recognize however that the information presented is a national average of urban, suburban and rural data combined. If your focus is urban, then you should access information for a specific American city that has a trade area similar to your Canadian market.)

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