Chairmen and non-executive directors of the boards of Australia’s larger companies have received significant increases in pay. With the first company disclosures for the year ending June 30 just being released, non-executive chairmen have received overall fee increases of 33%, with median fees being $185,000. Total remuneration, which includes superannuation benefits and shares, as well as cash fees, increased an overall 15% to a median of $226,002. The non-executive directors of these boards also received similar pay increases. Newly reported data indicates median fees of $78,580, an increase of 24%. Total remuneration increased by 23% to a median of $102,500.
These early trends have been captured by GuerdonData™, an on-line database that continuously updates executive and board remuneration as new ASX 300 company disclosures are released.
Michael Robinson, a spokesman for Guerdon Associates, a specialist executive and board remuneration consulting firm, said that while these rates of increase may not be sustained for the remainder of the reporting season, the rate of increase would still be relatively high compared to most years. We are still seeing significant increases in board chairman and non-executive director fees as a result of an increase in workload, said Robinson. The most significant increases in workload are as a result of the impact of CLERP 9, and the heightened attention to governance issues. Without an increase in fees it would be difficult to retain existing chairmen and directors, and recruit qualified new directors to fill vacancies. Many of these board vacancies have been caused by directors having to rationalise their board memberships brought about by the extra workload.
The companies to report annual results and the pay of their executives and directors for the year ending June 30 to the end of last week included Australian Infrastructure Fund, Alesco Corporation Limited, Amcor Limited, Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, Australian Stock Exchange Limited, Billabong International Limited, Bendigo Mining Limited, Bluescope Steel Limited, Boom Logistics Limited, Challenger Financial Services Group Limited, Centro Properties Group, DB RReef Trust, Excel Coal Limited, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, Galileo Shopping America Trust, Healthscope Limited, Lend Lease Corporation Limited, Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group, Mirvac Group, Metcash Limited, Perpetual Trustees Australia Limited, Record Investments Limited, Stockland, United Group Limited, Unitab Limited, West Australian Newspaper Holdings Limited, and Worleyparsons Limited.