The 2018 SpencerStuart Board Index has been released. Some of the highlights:
S&P 500 boards appointed 428 new directors during the 2018 proxy year, the most since 2004 and an increase of 8% from 2017.
» 57% of boards added at least one new director.
Nearly two-thirds (65%) of the incoming class come from outside the
most senior board and company leadership roles.
» Only 35.5% of the new directors are CEO-level — active or retired
CEOs, chairs, vice chairs, presidents or COOs — down from
47% a decade ago.
» 45% of CEOs of S&P 500 companies serve on an outside board.
» Reversing a decade-long decline, 56% of the incoming class are
First-time directors comprise 33% of the incoming class of S&P 500
directors. They are younger than their experienced peers and more
likely to be actively employed (64% versus 53%).
More than a quarter (25.5%) of the incoming directors are financial
experts, up from 18% in 2008.
» 11% are experienced CFOs/financial executives.
» 10% are investors.
» More than half (53%) are women.
Progress in boardroom diversity is mixed
For the second consecutive year, women and minorities represent half
of the class of new S&P 500 directors.
» Women represent a record-breaking 40% of the incoming class
(up from 36% in 2017).
» Minority women are 9% of the new directors, up from 6% last year.
» But minority men (defined as African-American, Hispanic/Latino
or Asian) represent just 10% of the incoming class, down from
14% last year.
Annual assessments have become the norm for boards, and 98% of
S&P 500 companies in our index reported conducting a board assessment
over the past year.
» Only 38% — largely unchanged from 37% last year and 33% five years
ago — report some form of individual director evaluations.
Half of S&P 500 boards split the chair and CEO roles, up from
39% a decade ago.
» 30.5% of boards have an independent board chair.
» 80% report having an independent lead or presiding director.