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Canadian Board Index 2016

The Canadian Spencer Stuart Board Index (CSSBI), now in its 21st year, offers insights into the governance trends and practices for 100 publicly traded Canadian companies (the CSSBI 100) with annual revenues exceeding C$1 billion. The CSSBI also includes selected board comparisons with US S&P 500 listed companies within the same revenue range. The 2016 CSSBI also includes a feature titled, “Continuing the Pursuit of Excellence in the Boardroom,” in which several board-level priorities are explored, notably chair succession, board gender diversity, and board culture alignment and performance evaluations as drivers in board succession planning.

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Among the notable findings from this year’s CSSBI analysis:

  • Turnover of non-executive directors in the CSSBI 100 remained relatively high in 2016; 93 non-executive directors were appointed to the boards of CSSBI 100 companies in 2016 – two less than in 2015, but much higher than the totals in 2011 (76) and 2012 (78).
  • Appointments of women directors remained at historically high levels in 2016, constituting 41% of all non-executive directors appointed to the boards of CSSBI 100 companies; close to one-third were non-residents of Canada.
  • Overall representation of women board members continued to edge higher; in 2016, one-quarter (25%) of all board directorships on CSSBI 100 boards were held by women, two percentage points higher than 2015 and 10 more than 2011.
  • Non-executive directors from outside Canada represented more than one-third (37%) of all appointments, up from 31% in 2015; in 2016, 27% of all non-executive directors in the CSSBI 100 were not residents of Canada, up from 23% in 2011.
  • Compensation for non-executive directors rose slightly in 2016 – median total non-executive director compensation (including equity) was $188,000, a 2% increase over 2015 (in nominal amounts, measured on a constant company basis).
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