Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Annual Korn-Ferry Board of Directors Study

Whether you're a researcher or practitioner in the field of corporate governance, the annual Korn-Ferry Survey of boards of directors is a must read (I even cited an earlier version in my dissertation years ago). Here's a bit from the overview in the beginning of the survey
...It is more work and less play for today’s corporate directors, and, perhaps surprisingly, they seem to like it that way. A high level of job satisfaction is one of the trends identified in the 34th Annual Korn/Ferry International Board of Directors Study, which also found that directors serve on fewer boards but work longer hours.

In addition, boards are actually smaller today. According to analysis of information reported in the proxies of 891 FORTUNE 1000 companies, we found that boards average 10 directors in size, with only two being full-time company employees. Women and minorities have been very successful in achieving directorships,
when viewed historically over three decades. But, the proxy data reflects that their numbers per board remain small and growth appears stalled.

Our survey shows that the placement of restrictions on the number of boards on which a director may serve remains fairly high in North America and Europe, and, perhaps not surprisingly given this fact, we found a loosening of mandatory retirement rules.

The image of a director’s job also may be improving. Recruitment remains challenging, especially for companies in North America, but boards appear to be having greater success recruiting directors with specialized skills.
Read the whole thing (for free) here.