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Our survey approach

2020 UK Spencer Stuart Board Index

The 2020 UK Spencer Stuart Board Index covers the largest 150 companies with a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange, according to market value at the end of April 2020, excluding investment trusts. Market value ranges from £109,204.6m (AstraZeneca) to £1,807.4m (Countryside Properties)

The purpose of the survey is to provide a comprehensive review of governance practices in these 150 companies at a given point, comparing it with previous years and drawing on it to identify significant trends.

Information has been compiled from publicly available sources. Board composition data was taken at 30 April 2020 and the remuneration information is, for the most part, that published in the latest annual report. Executive committee data is taken from company websites.

There are 17 changes of constituents since last year’s edition. Five companies were acquired (Cobham, Merlin Entertainment, Immarsat, Investec and Wood Group). Ten companies dropped off the list by significantly losing value since the start of 2020 (Cineworld Group, G4S, Hammerson, Marks & Spencer Group, Micro Focus International, NMC Health, RHI Magnesita, Royal Mail, SSP Group and Tullow Oil). BBA Aviation and CYBG also dropped off the list but changed their names to Signature Aviation and Virgin Money, respectively.

Of the new entrants, one is a returnee: IG Group Holdings has appeared in the Board Index in the past. Just Eat Takeaway.com, M&G, Trainline, Network International Holding are relatively recent IPOs.

Close to two-fifths of the constituents belong to the industrial and manufacturing sector, followed by 24% in broader financial services, 21% in consumer, 10% in technology, media and telecommunications (TMT), 7% in healthcare and 1% in business professional services.

Among the constituents of the Board Index only TUI includes employee representatives on its Board. TUI organises its boards according to the German two-tier structure and, within the supervisory board, practices co-determination. This means that 50% of the supervisory board members are employee representatives and 50% shareholder representatives. For the purposes of this Index we are considering only the shareholder representatives as equivalent to non-executives.

Chairs are excluded from the split between executive and non-executive directors and their tenure is treated separately. However, they are included in categories such as foreign directors, women, and average age. In discussing CEOs and CFOs we are concerned only with those who sit on the board of their company.

Foreign directors are defined as being of different nationality from the company on whose board they sit. The “new directors” category of our tables relates to directors who were appointed in the 12 months preceding the cut-off date, i.e. between 1 May 2019 and 30 April 2020.

In our tables we state remuneration data in the currency used by the respective companies in their annual report. For the purpose of our broader analysis, we convert all figures to sterling, using the Bank of England average exchange rate of the relevant financial year.