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Remuneration

2020 UK Spencer Stuart Board Index

2020 Snapshot

 25 %

increase in average retainer for non-execs in 10 years, to £69,906

 23 %

increase in average fee for chairs in 10 years, to £411,406

Chair remuneration

The average retainer for part-time chairs is £411,406, an increase of 1.7% over last year (84% of chairs have part-time roles). As very few chairs received additional fees, the average total chair remuneration was only slightly higher, at £413,565. The average chair retainer fee has increased 12% over the past 5 years, and 23% over a 10-year period.

It was worth noting that while the average retainer for chairs has risen across the top 150 companies, the average among FTSE 30 companies has dropped, as the chart below shows.

Similar to last year’s edition, just over a fifth of the sample (21%) increased their fees more than 3% and half of the sample did not increase their chair fees. The range of fees for part-time chairs remains unchanged, ranging from £35,000 at Fresnillo to £1,500,000 at HSBC Holdings.

There are eight executive chairs in our sample, down from 12 in 2019. Only six companies with executive chairs disclosed their retainers (averaging £454,542).

15% of companies in our sample pay board fees in a currency other than, or in combination with, sterling (i.e. US dollars or Euros).

Chair fees (part-time), segmented by ranking group (FTSE 150, £000)

Senior independent director remuneration

Almost all companies (90%) pay an additional fee to senior independent directors (SIDs). The average additional fee is £23,015, a very slight increase over last year. This fee ranges from £5,000 at Dechra Pharmaceuticals to £375,000 for the combined vice-chair role at HSBC Holdings.

The average total fee for SIDs who served the full year is £121,389, an increase of 5%.

Mondi remuneration policy states that the SID fee will be reduced by 50% if the SID also chairs the remuneration committee. Shaftesbury policy only allows for additional SID fees if the SID does not chair any of its committees.

SID total fees, segmented by ranking group (FTSE 150, £000)

Non-executive director remuneration

The average basic retainer for non-executive directors is £69,606 almost identical to the 2019 figure of £69,238. 54% of the companies in our sample, did not increase or decrease the NED fee this year.

Wizz Air Holdings pays the lowest retainer at €30,000 (£26,310), while Experian continues to pay the highest retainer at €158,250 (£137,678).

Ten companies declare that some part of non-executive remuneration is paid in shares.

Non-executive director fees, segmented by ranking group
(FTSE 150, £000)
2020 2019
Retainer Total Retainer Total
1-10 99 143 98 161
11-20 91 137 88 162
21-30 80 129 85 121
31-40 72 117 75 98
41-50 70 89 71 93
51-100 65 102 64 80
101-150 57 73 60 72

Average total fees

The average total fee for non-executive directors is £99,139.95, 1.3% higher than last year (£97,837). When SIDs and deputy chairs are excluded, the average fee is £96,521, 3.4% higher than last year (£93,354).

Chair
2020 2019 2018
Below £100,000 2.7% 1.3% 2.7%
£100,000 to £249,999 19.3% 14% 18.7%
£250,000 to £499,999 48% 54.7% 52%
£500,000 to £749,999 18.7% 20% 16.7%
£750,000 to £999,999 6% 4% 4%
£1 million and above 4.7% 6% 6%
Senior independent directors
2020 2019 2018
£30,000 to £49,000 0.7% 1.3% 1.3%
£50,000 to £74,999 22.7% 16% 22%
£75,000 to £99,999 26.7% 35.3% 29.3%
£100,000 and above 46.7% 46% 46.7%
Not available 1.3% 1.3% 0.7%
Non-executive directors
2020 2019 2018
Less than £30,000 0.7% 0% 0%
£30,000 to £39,999 2% 2% 1.3%
£40,000 to £49,999 4.7% 2.7% 6%
£50,000 to £59,999 18.7% 22% 24.7%
£60,000 to £69,999 32% 33.3% 29.3%
£70,000 to £79,999 18% 17.3% 17.3%
£80,000 and above 19.3% 22.7% 21.3%