There has been plenty of reason to speculate about lavish payouts for executives. In Europe and the U.S., there’s usually at least a cursory relationship between a company’s size and profitability and what it pays top brass.

Aramco booked a staggering $111 billion in profit last year, more than what five of its biggest rivals—Exxon, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BP Plc and Total SA—earned together. And the IPO target would make it the world’s most valuable public company, surpassing other oil giants by multiples.

The firm’s oil revenues also have long  helped finance the lives of members of the House of Saud, whose collective net worth is estimated at more than $100 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

But Aramco board members have been dismissive of compensation packages sized according to U.S. standards, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential information. Directors were also skeptical of incentives that could push employees to maximize short-term results at the expense of long-term performance, the people said.

“There’s this feeling of intergenerational equity of the stewardship of Saudi oil that’s been a really strong part of Aramco’s mission,” said Jim Krane, an energy research fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute. It’s about “preserving the oil for future generations.”

The board has explored ways to align Aramco’s executive compensation with U.S. and European standards to appeal to international investors, people familiar with the matter said. Directors have mulled stock grants and long-term incentive awards, which often make up the bulk of executive pay at Western firms.

The board has also weighed granting equity awards to all Aramco employees, one of the people said. Nasser’s pay package mainly consisted of salary and deferred compensation, they said.

There are also big pay disparities between Aramco and other large oil companies controlled by governments. Regulatory filings show that members of the management board of Russia’s Rosneft PJSC split an aggregate $63.9 million in 2018, while a dozen directors and senior bosses of PetroChina Co. got a total of $1 million that year. However, rules and customs for disclosure and classification of executive compensation vary greatly between jurisdictions, making such figures hard to compare.

Working at Aramco, for example, comes with many benefits beyond salaries. Jobs at the company are highly coveted among Saudis. Top candidates are sometimes recruited as early as their teens. A job offer can be a ticket to a university education in the U.S., career-long job security and immense prestige back home.

Things get even better for those who make it to the senior ranks. Current and former executives, and their families, mainly live in Ar-Rabiyah, an enclave in northern Dhahran that’s filled with opulent mansions with pools.