The Equilar Institute provides in-depth research and analysis on boards of directors, shareholder engagement, executive compensation and other issues affecting the world of corporate governance. Below are some key highlights from the last quarter that showcase the in-depth information available in public filings via the Equilar database. Visit www.equilar.com/institute or www.equilar.com/blog.html to read these articles in full as well as many more.
As companies attempt to adapt to changing trends and technology across corporate America, new and innovative perspectives have become more necessary, particularly in the boardroom. As a result, young directors are becoming more prevalent as companies look for new perspectives in their boardrooms. An Equilar study from 2018 examined the 50 youngest directors at Equilar 500 companies.
The study* revealed that the youngest director is William J. Pulte—CEO and a board member of Pultegroup Inc.—at age 29. Many other directors on the list, such as Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and Chairman of Facebook, and Benjamin J. Tisch, Vice President and Director of CNA Financial Group, are either founders or executives of their respective companies. The median age of the directors in the study was 39 years.
The amount of ownership stake a CEO has in a company provides potential insight into specific goals and directions in which a company is heading. For example, different ownership stakes for a CEO may alter the compensation make-up. A CEO with a lower ownership percentage may have compensation hinge more on non-stock-related performance metrics, while those with higher ownership may have compensation tied to total shareholder return (TSR) and stock price. This study revealed that companies that have a higher than average three-year TSR are more likely to have CEOs who own more than 6% of their company.
In 2018, General Motors (GM) appointed Dhivya Suryadevara as its Chief Financial Officer. The news made many headlines because, in a position that has long been dominated by men, Suryadevara is the first female CFO at GM. She joins GM’s current female Chief Executive Officer Mary T. Barra, putting General Motors at the forefront of companies with women currently sitting in both the CEO and CFO positions.
To better understand the prevalence of a female CEO-CFO duo, Equilar conducted a study to look at the gender make-up of the CEO and CFO positions at Equilar 500 companies in recent years. In observing the numbers, the data highlights that female prevalence at either position tends to be rare.