Average non-executive director gets €63,000 salary, new research finds

Korn Ferry research also found remuneration for CEOs and chairmen increased since 2007

The average remuneration for non-executive directors on an Irish board last year was €63,382 while fees for chairman and chief executives has risen, new research found.

The “2018 Ireland Board Index” from consultancy Korn Ferry found that since 2007 the average total remuneration for chief executives of companies listed on the Iseq advanced 12 per cent to €1.25 million. Similarly, fees for chairmen increased 278 per cent over the same period to €166,563 on average.

Korn Ferry notes that the significant increase in fees for chairmen of Iseq companies contrasts with that of their Ftse 350 colleagues, increasing by an average of 1 per cent higher year-on-year.

However, the company suggests this may be down to the increased visibility of chairmen, including the “heightened risk” associated with holding this role in a plc.


Korn Ferry’s research also found that senior independent directors received compensation 22 per cent higher than other non-executive directors, who have seen their remuneration rise to match, or in some cases exceed, the figures recorded in 2007.


" Companies have faced significant regulatory, technological and economical challenges over the past 10 years. The necessity of skilled and experienced board directors to navigate businesses through these challenges is apparent," said Rob Wilder, Korn Ferry Ireland's country chair.

The research also showed that with these higher earnings, companies are moving towards smaller boards, with the average number of directors down from 9.5 in 2007 to 7.5 in 2017.

And while there is greater diversity on boards compared to 2007 (when women made up just 5 per cent of Iseq board seats), the fact that women make up just 13 per cent of board seats now is 10 percentage points below the EU average.

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business