First published in 1986, the 29th edition of this venerable publication continues the tradition of examining the latest data and trends in board composition, board practices and director compensation among S&P 500 companies. This year's study places a particular focus on board succession and director turnover, analyzing the increased interest surrounding board composition in terms of actual practices among some of the largest companies in the United States.
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Among the notable takeaways from this year’s proxy analysis:
- Boards added 371 independent directors in 2014, the highest total in six years.
- Increasingly, boards are tapping first-time directors to fill board openings: 39% of all newly added board members, are first-timers.
- Women continue to make inroads: 30% of new independent directors are women – the highest ever.
- Retirement ages continue to increase: 30% of boards set a retirement age at 75 or older, up significantly from only 5% a decade ago. A full 92% of boards set mandatory retirement at 72 years of age or older.
- Compensation continues to increase, with average per-director pay rising 6 percent.
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