The 2023 Board & Executive Remuneration Report, produced by McGuirk Management Consultants in conjunction with the Governance Institute, surveyed 1167 boards from across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, including 226 listed companies. It also draws on publicly available data.
The annual highlighted significant remuneration increases across ASX 200 companies with 42% of ASX board directors and 71% of ASX senior executives receiving a pay rise in the last 12 months.
The report also found managing directors at ASX companies increased their fixed salaries by an average 14 per cent last year and CEO salaries rose an average 15 per cent.
It found consultant benchmarking and industry surveys were the biggest factor in determining pay rises for ASX-listed board directors, while CPI was the main criteria for unlisted and not-for-profit organisations.
Governance Institute CEO, Megan Motto, said it’s an indication that a tight labour market and the rising cost of living is playing out at the executive level.
“These are significant increases off the back of several years of relatively small rises in fixed pay for executives,” Ms Motto said.
“With AGM season looming, boards will need to have a strong narrative around their remuneration policies to stand up to shareholder scrutiny and manage reputation risks.”
The remuneration of company secretaries was one such growth area with an average remuneration bump of 11%. Specifically, for ASX 200 companies, this increase was higher at 13%, and 24% when looking at company secretaries of large, listed companies.
Risk managers also received an average remuneration increase for the last year with a 15% increase, which Ms Motto said signals a growing demand for governance and risk roles.
“These skills too are in hot demand. There are currently around 2500 jobs being advertised nationally for the role of ‘risk manager’. This is even though there is no actual job classification with this title,” Ms Motto said.
“Remuneration is a key factor for candidates, and with roles like Company Secretary now on the skills shortage list, it’s not surprising we’re seeing some really big jumps in base salaries.”
Higher bonuses (the potential maximum bonuses that can be offered) were also provided to these professions with risk managers from ASX 200 companies able to receive up to 45% of their fixed salary in bonuses. Likewise, General Counsel & Company Secretaires received an overall average increase of 49%.
The survey results come soon after the recent decision by the Fair Work Commission to increase the minimum wage by 5.75%, demonstrating the impacts of inflationary pressures in the economy.
Ms Motto believes the Annual Report is an important piece of information for boards and executives.
“We are proud to partner with McGuirk Management Consultants to provide this data to our members each year as it provides important information that they can use when looking at remuneration within their own organisations and boards.”
Governance Institute members and anyone who took part in the survey will receive an abridged version of this year's Board & Executive Remuneration survey.
If you did not participate in the survey and would like to purchase the full reports, contact McGuirk Management Consultants on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0411 722 388.