Board Compensation: Increased perceived imbalance between effort and reward

In recent years we have observed an increasing frustration over the perceived imbalance between effort and reward within the board member community. To further understand this trend, we launched a research programme specifically targeting the issue, with the aim of understanding how much of a problem this is now – and how much it might become in the future.

In our 2018 Board Remuneration Survey, over 200 board members from leading Nordic companies answered our questionnaire and shared their thoughts, providing a fascinating glimpse into how remuneration is currently perceived and what impact it might have upon the boardroom of the future.

Key Insights:
  • 36% of board members are unsatisfied with their remuneration.
  • Three quarters (77%) of the respondents champion equal compensation.
  • In declining order of importance: complexity (94%), number of meetings per year (72%), personal risk (67%), and media/public exposure (33%) were seen as key determining factors when deciding remuneration.
  • Three quarters (73%) of the respondents believe that board compensation should include shares or options programmes.
  • There is a clear 50% / 49% split in perception of how the recent change in Swedish regulations for board compensation has affected the respondents’ overall inclination to take on board roles.

Topics covered in this report are: How to determine remuneration; Equal or separate pay; Motivated or independent; Tax regulations; Gender; Executive vs. non Executive; Global Context; more perspectives.

Partner & Head of Board Services – Nordics


Ulrike Rummler

Research Consultant, Board Services – Nordics