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Non-exec directors get deeper pockets

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Local non-executive directors (NEDs) saw an average pay rise of 5.3% last year, with the highest board costs found in the financial sector.

NEDs in 249 SGX-listed companies received an average annual income of S$52,000 in the financial year of 2011/2012, as NEDs in small and medium enterprises led the growth at a median 9.3% and 9.1%, respectively.

On average, NEDs in small enterprises with a market cap of less than S$300 million now earn S$47,000, while those in medium enterprises with a market cap of between S$300 million and S$1 billion earn S$60,000, a Hay Group report found.

Meanwhile, NEDs in large companies with a market cap of more than S$1 billion saw their annual remuneration dip 3.2% to S$92,000.

“We would expect a growth of 7-10% in the directors‘ fees for the next two to three years, given Singapore‘s limited pool of independent directors, greater accountability of the independent director and increasing market demand,” Kevin Goh, director of executive rewards for Hay Group Singapore, said.

The report also found the total board costs, which includes chairman fees and special directors’ fees, rounds up at an average of S$605,000 annually.

One in 10 of the companies surveyed also provide their NEDs with share-based compensation. Among them, 16 offer share options while nine awarded either restricted or performance shares.

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