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Canadian Board Index 2017

Canadian Board Index 2017

Canadian Board Index 2017The Canadian Spencer Stuart Board Index (CSSBI), now in its 22nd year, highlights trends in board composition, director compensation and selected governance practices at 100 publicly traded Canadian companies (the CSSBI 100) with annual revenues exceeding C$1 billion. Additionally, the CSSBI provides selected board comparisons between CSSBI 100 and U.S. S&P 500 listed companies within the same revenue range.

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Canadian Board Index 2017The Canadian Spencer Stuart Board Index (CSSBI), now in its 22nd year, highlights trends in board composition, director compensation and selected governance practices at 100 publicly traded Canadian companies (the CSSBI 100) with annual revenues exceeding C$1 billion. Additionally, the CSSBI provides selected board comparisons between CSSBI 100 and U.S. S&P 500 listed companies within the same revenue range.

Download the PDF now >

This year’s CSSBI also features research from Spencer Stuart’s 2017 Canadian CEO study, in which we examined selected characteristics of sitting CEOs of CSSBI 100 companies (including age, tenure, functional route to the role and more). Additionally, we analyzed every CEO transition at these companies between 2007 and 2017, highlighting trends and best practices in CEO succession and selection at Canada’s largest companies.

This year’s CSSBI also features research from Spencer Stuart’s 2017 Canadian CEO study, in which we examined selected characteristics of sitting CEOs of CSSBI 100 companies (including age, tenure, functional route to the role and more). Additionally, we analyzed every CEO transition at these companies between 2007 and 2017, highlighting trends and best practices in CEO succession and selection at Canada’s largest companies.

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

  • 95 non-executive directors were appointed to the boards of CSSBI 100 companies in 2017, matching a six-year high.
  • Appointments of women board members remained at historically high levels in 2017, constituting 40% of all non-executive directors appointed to the boards of CSSBI 100 companies; close to one-third were non-residents of Canada.
  • CSSBI 100 boards are becoming more gender balanced: 27% of all CSSBI 100 board directorships were held by women in 2017, compared to 17% in 2012. There was an almost fourfold increase in the number of CSSBI 100 boards where women held at least 30% of the board seats (11 in 2012 compared to 41 in 2017). Additionally, at least 50% of the board seats at three CSSBI 100 companies in 2017 were held by women, and another eight boards were close to reaching the gender parity mark. This year, there was not a single "all-male" board in the CSSBI 100 — the first time in the publication history of the CSSBI.
  • An increasing number of the boards of CSSBI 100 companies (41 in 2017 compared to 33 in 2016) have established minimum targets for the number of women who should be serving as directors on their boards.
  • Compensation for non-executive directors rose slightly: median total non-executive director compensation (including equity) was $188,000 in 2017, a 4.2% increase over 2016 (as measured on a constant company basis).
  • Flat-fee compensation models were adopted by more boards: over half (54) of CSSBI 100 companies used a simplified flat-fee model (i.e., a single annual retainer without per-meeting fees) to remunerate their non-executive directors in 2017, 28 more than in 2013.
  • There was a small increase in the number of CSSBI 100 boards with mandatory retirement ages and/or term limits for their non-executive directors: 59% of the boards of CSSBI 100 companies disclosed having them in place in 2017, compared to 55% in 2013.

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

  • 95 non-executive directors were appointed to the boards of CSSBI 100 companies in 2017, matching a six-year high.
  • Appointments of women board members remained at historically high levels in 2017, constituting 40% of all non-executive directors appointed to the boards of CSSBI 100 companies; close to one-third were non-residents of Canada.
  • CSSBI 100 boards are becoming more gender balanced: 27% of all CSSBI 100 board directorships were held by women in 2017, compared to 17% in 2012. There was an almost fourfold increase in the number of CSSBI 100 boards where women held at least 30% of the board seats (11 in 2012 compared to 41 in 2017). Additionally, at least 50% of the board seats at three CSSBI 100 companies in 2017 were held by women, and another eight boards were close to reaching the gender parity mark. This year, there was not a single "all-male" board in the CSSBI 100 — the first time in the publication history of the CSSBI.
  • An increasing number of the boards of CSSBI 100 companies (41 in 2017 compared to 33 in 2016) have established minimum targets for the number of women who should be serving as directors on their boards.
  • Compensation for non-executive directors rose slightly: median total non-executive director compensation (including equity) was $188,000 in 2017, a 4.2% increase over 2016 (as measured on a constant company basis).
  • Flat-fee compensation models were adopted by more boards: over half (54) of CSSBI 100 companies used a simplified flat-fee model (i.e., a single annual retainer without per-meeting fees) to remunerate their non-executive directors in 2017, 28 more than in 2013.
  • There was a small increase in the number of CSSBI 100 boards with mandatory retirement ages and/or term limits for their non-executive directors: 59% of the boards of CSSBI 100 companies disclosed having them in place in 2017, compared to 55% in 2013.