News & Insights

Directors Governance Center

November 8, 2013

Spencer Stuart Board Index 2013


Spencer Stuart recently published the Spencer Stuart Board Index 2013. The Board Indexis based on an analysis of the most recent S&P 500 proxy statements and a governance survey of corporate secretaries and general counsel.

The Board Index contains Spencer Stuarts observations on several governance themes, including:

Portrait of the Boardroom:

*Independent directors are older than they were a decade ago; contributing factors include rising retirement ages and an increase in the recruitment of retired executives.

*Some boards are prioritizing new areas of expertise, for example digital or social media.

Director Profiles: survey respondents indicated that the most desired profiles for new directors include:

*Minorities (56%)

*Women (54%)

*Active CEOs/COOs (54%)

DirectorCompensation:

*Director compensation continues to increase; total director compensation now averages $249,168 (S&P 500).

*Boards are phasing out meeting fees and replacing with committee retainers.

*The number of boards providing equity in addition to cash continues to increase (now over 75% of the S&P 500).

*The equity mix has shifted toward share grants and away from stock options.

In addition, the Board Index includes significant data (including 5 and 10 year trends) on a variety of board governance topics, including:

*Board makeup/demographics,

*Board organization and process, and

*Director compensation.

The Spencer Stuart Board Indexis published on an annual basis by Spencer Stuart, a leading executive search consulting firm that regularly publishes research and insight on governance matters.