The 2020 Singapore Spencer Stuart Board Index is a comprehensive review of governance practices in the 30 constituent companies of the Straits Times Index (STI), the benchmark index for the Singapore Exchange. It provides a valuable review of the governance practices of these companies during 2019-2020. Information was compiled from publicly available sources as of July 2020.
Among the highlights from this year’s Singapore Spencer Stuart Board Index:
- More women on boards. There has been a steady increase in female representation on STI30 boards over the years; the percentage of women on Singapore boards in 2020 has doubled to 16% since 2014. Eighty-three percent of STI boards have at least one female director.
- Upward trend in board retainer fees. Retainer fees for chairs and members across boards and board committees (audit, remuneration and nominating) have been rising steadily since 2014. The board chair and directors serving as chairs or members of the audit and nominating committees had their compensation increased by about 10% from 2018 to 2020.
- Nearly all boards conduct an annual assessment. Eighty-seven percent of the STI30 companies have some form of board assessment, whether executed internally by their nominating committee or by an external facilitator. Seventeen percent of STI30 companies engaged a third party to carry out their board assessment, down from 20% in 2018.
- More boards have environment, social and governance (ESG) committees. Two STI30 companies added new ESG committees in the past two years; 20% of STI30 boards now have an ESG committee. Committees have a variety of names, including “customer experience, technology and sustainability committee” and “ethics & conduct committee.”