How can data lead to better corporate governance?

We break down the numbers to reveal top board practices and leading trends.

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The EY Center for Board Matters collects and analyzes governance data for more than 3,000 US public companies through its proprietary corporate governance database. We invite you to explore Corporate Governance by the Numbers.

Close to real-time data: current as of 28 February 2017 unless otherwise noted.
  • Board composition

    Board composition* S&P 500 S&P MidCap 400  S&P SmallCap 600  S&P 1500 Russell 3000
    Age 63 years 63 years 63 years 63 years 62 years
    Gender diversity 2 (22%) 2 (17%) 1 (15%) 2 (18%) 1 (15%)
    Independence 85% 82% 81% 83% 79%
    Tenure 9 years 10 years 10 years 9 years 9 years
    * Numbers based on all directorships in each index; gender diversity data represents average number of women directors on a board (and the percentage this represents)
  • Board meetings and size

    Board meetings and size S&P 500 S&P MidCap 400  S&P SmallCap 600  S&P 1500 Russell 3000
    Board meetings 8 7 8 8 8
    Board size 11.2 9.5 8.5 9.7 9.1
  • Board leadership structure

    Board leadership structure* S&P 500 S&P MidCap 400  S&P SmallCap 600  S&P 1500 Russell 3000
    Separate chair/CEO 50% 59% 64% 58% 59%
    Independent chair 29% 38% 45% 38% 39%
    Independent lead director 58% 54% 39% 49% 41%
    Presiding director 7% 4% 4% 5% 4%
    * Percentage based on portion of index
  • Board elections

    Board elections* S&P 500 S&P MidCap 400  S&P SmallCap 600  S&P 1500 Russell 3000
    Annual elections 90% 64% 55% 69% 59%
    Majority voting in director elections 89% 62% 41% 64% 46%
    Proxy access 58% 13% 4% 24% 14%
    * Percentage based on portion of index
  • Board and executive compensation

    Board and executive compensation S&P 500 S&P MidCap 400  S&P SmallCap 600  S&P 1500 Russell 3000
    Independent directors $297,717 $308,675 $174,033 $251,325 $223,847
    CEO 3-yr average pay $12.5 million $6.2 million $3.4 million $7.2 million $5.6 million
    NEO 3-yr average pay $4.7 million $2.2 million $1.3 million $2.7 million $2.1 million
    Average pay ratio: CEO / NEO 2.7 times 2.8 times 2.6 times 2.7 times 2.7 times
    * Numbers based on all directorships and executive positions in each index
  • Opposition votes in director elections

    Russell 3000: Opposition votes in director elections Full year 2016 Year to date 2017
    Total elections 17,782 735
    Average percent opposition votes received 4.2% 3.9%
    Russell 3000: Opposition votes received by board nominees Full year 2016 Year to date 2017
    Directors with less than 80% support (% of all nominees) 4.1% 4.1%
    Number of directors 726 30
    Directors with less than 50% support (% of all nominees) 0.3% 0.0%
    Number of directors 54 0
  • Say-on-Pay proposals

    Russell 3000: Say-on-Pay proposals voted Full year 2016 Year to date 2017
    Total proposals voted 2,145 110
    Proposals with less than 70% support (% of proposals) 7.4% 6.4%
    Number of proposals 159 7
    Proposals with less than 50% support (% of proposals) 1.6% 1.8%
    Number of proposals 35 2
    Say-on-Pay proposals vote support Full year 2016 Year to date 2017
    S&P 500 91.4% 95.2%
    S&P Composite 1500 91.6% 94.5%
    Russell 3000 91.3% 93.7%
  • Shareholder proposals

    Shareholder proposal categories Number voted Portion of voted proposals
    Anti-takeover/strategic 3 10%
    Board 10 33%
    Compensation 4 13%
    Environmental/social 12 40%
    Routine/other 1 3%
    All 30 100%

     

    Top shareholder proposal topic by average vote support* Average support
    Adopt/amend proxy access 41%
    * Based on topics where at least 5 shareholder proposals went to a vote; shareholder proposals also may be withdrawn or omitted from proxy ballots.

     

    Top shareholder proposal topic by total number voted* Number voted
    Adopt/amend proxy access 5
    * Based on topics where at least 5 shareholder proposals went to a vote; shareholder proposals also may be withdrawn or omitted from proxy ballots.
  • Trends in audit committee disclosures

  • Shareholder engagement trends

    The data below was current as of June 2016 and appears in Four takeaways from proxy season 2016.

    S&P 500 companies disclosing engaging with investors*

    EY - S&P 500 companies disclosing engaging with investors

    *Percentages for 2016 based on 436 proxy statements for S&P 500 companies available as of June 10, 2016.

 

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