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Owners of midsize companies in Salt Lake City are paying themselves an average of $154,000 annually and rank 44th out of 80 areas surveyed by the Geneva Companies, a merger and acquisition services company in Irvine, Calif.

Charles B. Tillson, division president of Geneva, said the median amount the owners paid themselves was $151,000. The company surveyed 2,500 companies with revenue between $1 million and $100 million all over the United States."On average, the business owners are paying themselves 78 percent in direct salary and the remaining 22 percent in such indirect compensation as club memberships and personal financial planning expenses, which don't show up on the paycheck but are an important part of the owner's total compensation," said Tillson.

Business owners in Stamford, Conn., rank first in the amount of money they pay themselves with $273,000 annually, followed by owners in Hartford, Conn., with $247,000. Santa Barbara, Calif., is the lowest on the list at $65,000.