More Women Coming on Board

27th Jul 2018

board room with leather chairs

Board directors are taking on more responsibilities – including addressing cyber risk & advising the CEO – and with that board director compensation is increasing. A 2017-2018 Director Compensation report, board director compensation has been increasing steadily. The median is now $300,000 up from $290,000 in 2016, a 3.4% increase.

More women are also joining as board directors. In 2017, Fortune 500 companies filled 358 vacant or newly created board seats with independent directors. More women are on track to gain a record number of boards. Heidrick and Struggles, an executive search firm, published a recent report on Appointments of Women to Boards Hit Record High. The report says in 2017, Fortune 500 companies filled 358 vacant or newly created board seats with independent directors. More than 38%, 137 board seats, went to women in 2017 that marks the highest number of women appointed to boards in the nine-year history of Board Monitor.

According to research from Harvard Business Review, having women on corporate boards results to “better acquisition and investment decisions and in less aggressive risk-taking. Female board members help diffuse the overconfidence of male CEOs therefore improving overall decision making for the company and provide greater diversity of viewpoints.

We have a client who is a board director.  She runs a consultancy, teaches, and gives speeches. She also sits on multiple boards, each of which pays her sizable fees. She and her husband have a combined business income that exceeds $2 million. We’ve just designed a defined benefit plan that will allow the couple to contribute $519,000 annually, beginning in 2018.

Are you a board member or have clients who are on high-paying corporate boards? Independent directors are usually paid in stock and cash – the cash fees are considered compensation to fund a defined benefit retirement plan.

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