The chart below shows a breakdown of the average ages across different board categories.
Average age of board members by category
From our sample, Hibernia Reit’s board had the highest average age of non-executive directors at 68 years while Bank of Ireland had the lowest at 58. However, Hibernia Reit had the youngest average age for executive directors at 45. The board with the oldest average age for executives was Total Produce at 62.
The average number of scheduled board meetings was 9.8 in the year. This was high when compared with the UK’s FTSE 150, which had an average of 7.7 and the USA’s S&P 500 which averaged 7.9 board meetings.
The most common number of meetings was seven (25% of the sample set). AIB Group Plc and Aryzta had the most scheduled meetings with 17 each and Smurfit Kappa had the least at five.
Length of tenure
Average tenure among non-executives was 4.5 years. There was a clear divide between female non-executives, who served an average of four years, and male non-executives who had served an average of five years. (Please note that this metric is from the date that the individual joined the board, not the length of time in their current role.)
This division between genders was even more stark among executives. Average tenure among women was five years compared to nine years for men, with an overall average tenure of eight years. Given the relatively small sample size, several long-serving board members had a notable impact on the data, with six people (all male) having served over 20 years on their respective boards and three of those having served over 30 years.
The average tenure among chairs was 6.2 years and for CEOs it was eight years. Irish Continental Group had both the longest serving chief executive (28.7 years) and longest serving chair (16.4 ears). Both had held different positions initially and each of them had served over 32 years on the board.
All ISEQ 20 boards underwent an evaluation during the year. 25% of the sample used an external provider to undertake the review, whereas the rest conducted an internal evaluation led by the chair.