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2023 Ireland Spencer Stuart Board Index

2023 Snapshot


the average chair fee


the average total NED fee


the average fee paid to SIDs


of ISEQ 20 companies increased NED retainer fees

Remuneration information is gathered from the annual reports. In this section we primarily use the fees as stated in the annual report that would be paid to the individual board member if they had held the role for a full year. This is to ensure the calculations are consistent and accurate. We analyse the amount actually paid out, which varies due to board members taking on new responsibilities part way through the year.

Our 2022 survey noted that the continuing post-pandemic recovery had prompted a number of pay increases for non-executive directors across the ISEQ 20. This year, encouraged by the strength of that recovery alongside the Irish economy’s robust performance, 35% of boards have increased their NED retainer fees, awarding rises ranging from 2% to 30%.


Across the ISEQ 20, all chairs received a single fee without any further top-ups for additional duties such as chairing board sub-committees. Chair fees ranged from €100,000 to €666,000, with the average fee standing at €272,250. This represents a 14% increase from last year’s average of €238,638. We noted a larger increase in our 2021 Board Index of 15%, although this was inflated due to the presence of executive chairs in 2020.

Senior independent directors

Every board in our sample had a senior independent director (SID). Among most of the ISEQ 20, SIDs received an additional fee (on top of their basic non-executive director fee) for taking on SID responsibilities. As seen last year, 20% of the ISEQ 20 paid no additional fee for the SID role.

In those instances when additional SID fees were paid, they ranged from €5,000 to €60,000; the average of €22,344 represents a slight increase from last year’s €22,000. The average total fee for an ISEQ 20 SID increased by 8% to €103,204, the largest increase we have seen to date, following a 5% increase in both 2021 and 2020.

Non-executive directors

Once again, the average retainer fee paid to NEDs has increased compared to previous years. In 2022 NED retainers rose by 4.9% to €70,943, the strongest positive trend we have observed since 2020.

The majority of ISEQ 20 boards paid extra fees for additional responsibilities such as chairing committees, and all but three paid further fees for chairing the audit and remuneration committees.

Nomination committee chairs were less likely (at just under half) to receive additional fees; however, nomination committees are often chaired by the board chair or SID and the added responsibility is accounted for within those fees. In all cases where the board maintained a risk committee its chair received an additional fee.

Non-executive director fees?
2023 2022 2021 2020
Fee €70,943 €67,600 €66,600 €66,461
% change 4.9% 1.5% 2%