Higgs code pushed up non-exec earnings

Link: Combined code needs force of law

Consultants from Independent Remuneration Solutions have found that independent chairmen of large quoted companies earned 31% more last year than in 2000.

Other directors also fared well, with and 18% average increase for non-executive deputy chairmen and senior independent directors.

The researchers found that directors’ workloads had gone up at a similar rate due to the requirements of the Higgs report and November’s new combined code on corporate governance.

Chairmen now spend between 41 and 60 days on meetings and representation, suggesting that the daily fee for most had not risen. Only those working for the largest companies had seen their daily rates rise while for many other independent directors, average daily fees even declined.

‘The time spent in and preparation for the audit and remuneration committees is now much greater,’ Cliff Weight, director of the consultancy, told the Financial Times.

‘Most per diem rates for independent directors, which stand overall between £900 (and) £1,850, remain at or below 50% of the day rates for partners in major professional firms. Independent directors are exceedingly good value in view of their experience and expertise and the responsibilities they bear.’

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