The three obligatory committees — audit, remuneration, and nomination — continue to constitute the core committees across all companies. 55% of companies have more than three committees and no company this year has more than six.
Beyond the core committees, 29% of companies have established an ESG-related committee, although committees concerned with ESG/CSR have many different names. We define ESG-related committees as those that oversee the company’s environmental and social/community-related activities. Among the companies with ESG-related committees, 63% are in the industrial sector, followed by 23% in consumer, 5% in healthcare and in technology, media and telecoms, and only 2% in the financial service sector. The full list of committees for each FTSE 150 company can be viewed in our searchable committees table.
26% of companies now have a separate risk committee (up from 17% last year). 31% of these are outside the financial services sector (vs 20% last year).
26% of audit committee chairs in the sample are female, a slight increase. Softcat is the only company where all members of the audit committee are women. By contrast, six companies in our sample do not have any female representation in the audit committee.
Just one chair of audit is identified as BAME and 18% of audit committee chairs are non-nationals (vs 21% in 2019).
CFO experience continues to be the most common background for audit committee members, although that figure has dropped to 62% from 69% last year.
Continuing last year’s upward trend, 56% of remuneration committees are now chaired by women (up from 52% last year). Five companies in the sample still have no female representation on the remuneration committee.
Currently, there is only one director identified as BAME chairing a remuneration committee.
Fees for committee members and chairs
The average audit committee membership chair retainer is £24,976 (in 2019 was £24,731), and the membership retainer is £15,879. Only TUI and Polymetal International pay a fee for audit committee meeting attendance in addition to a membership fee.
Audit committee chair retainers range from £5,000 (Genus) to £110,502 (TUI). Audit committee membership retainers range from £3,000 (IG Group Holdings) to £40,000 (HSBC Holdings). 59% of the companies in the sample do not pay a fee for audit committee membership
The average retainer for remuneration committee chairs is £21,937, ranging from £5,000 (Genus) to £75,000 (HSBC Holdings).The average retainer for remuneration committee membership is £13,475, ranging from £3,000 (IG Group Holdings) to £40,000 (HSBC Holdings)
39% of the companies in the sample offer a remuneration membership retainer. Polymetal International is the only company which offers a per-meeting fee on top of the membership retainer.
Risk committee chairs tend to have the highest retainers of any committee chairs, with an average £39,281. HSBC Holdings pays the highest (£150,000).
The average retainer for chairs of ESG-related committees is £23,377 (we define ESG-related committees as those that oversee the company’s environmental and social/community-related activities).
Committee chair fees
|No additional fee
|£10,000 to £19,999
|£20,000 to £29,999
|£30,000 to £39,999
|£40,000 and above