Most Valued Staff: These Companies Generate The Most Profit Per Employee

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The 100 most profitable companies on the Fortune Global 500 list generated between £34.8 billion ($45.7 billion) and £3.6 billion ($4.8 billion) in the last financial year (2016-2017). These are numbers that are too large to even comprehend. But when we divided profits by number of employees to determine who effectively has the most ‘profitable’ employees, the numbers were truly impressive:

RankingCompany NameCountryProfit per Employee ($)Profit per Employee (£)
1Fannie MaeUS1,759,0001,342,759
2Gilead SciencesUS1,500,1111,145,132
3Freddie MacUS1,306,419997,275
8Taiwan Semiconductor ManufacturingTaiwan218,951167,140
9Goldman Sachs GroupUS215,058164,168
11SoftBank GroupJapan192,442146,903
13Tencent HoldingsChina159,533121,782
14Westpac BankingAustralia155,244118,508
15Shanghai Pudong Development BankChina151,287115,487
16Commonwealth Bank of AustraliaAustralia148,749113,550
18Cisco SystemsUS145,712111,232
19Industrial BankChina144,141110,032

What the Tech is Going On?

Many would expect the employees of tech companies such as Facebook, Apple and Google to be among the most profitable, but their employees ranked only 4th, 6th and 7th respectively. Surprisingly, those holding the top three spots were companies from traditional industries; mortgage providers and pharmaceuticals.

A Productivity Party in the USA

Of the top 10 companies in terms of profit per employee, eight are American. This is no surprise considering that the USA has the 6th most productive workforce in the world, and the biggest economy at £14.5 trillion ($19.4 trillion)

Employees of the American Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), more commonly known as Fannie Mae, were the most profitable of all, effectively generating a staggering £1,342,759 ($1,759,000) each in profit last year.

Profitable Employees: There’s a Science to it

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most valuable in the US, with Americans having spent a staggering $450 billion on medicines last year alone. One of the most successful pharmaceutical companies is Gilead Sciences, who reported a profit of £10.3 billion ($13.5 billion) last year. This works out at an impressive £1.1 million ($1.5 million) in profit per employee.

Gilead are famous for their pioneering treatments of both HIV and Hepatitis C, although the high cost of drugs for the latter has caused a lot of controversy in recent months. Levels of Hep C in the US are currently at a 15 year high, and the high cost of the drug (£56,000, or $74,760, per course) has led insurance companies to impose strict criteria on who can qualify to receive it through their insurance.

What Next?

Fannie Mae employees may hold the top spot by some margin this year, but with a whole new generation of disruptive fintech startups threatening the traditional mortgage industry, we have to wonder if the leaderboard won’t look quite different in years to come.

Written by:
Zara Chechi
Zara is a Payments Expert, specialising in writing about Point of Sale systems. With a Law Degree from City University of London, she has used her legally-honed research and analytical skills to develop expertise in the Business Services world. Featured in FinTech Magazine, she quickly became an expert in payroll, POS systems, and merchant accounts.
Reviewed by:
Heleana Neil, Business Services editor
Heleana Neil specialises in Business Services, managing the strategy and production of content for SMBs, helping businesses with the challenges and opportunities they face today. Covering everything from payroll to payment processing, Heleana uses her expertise to help business owners make better, informed decisions and grow their companies.