There are 315 Younger Directors* in the S&P 500. Together, they fill 348 board seats in the index. Of these 348 Younger Director seats, 260 are filled by independent Younger Directors. Forty-one of these (16%) are nominated under a shareholder agreement—usually with an activist or private equity investor, or with a significant family shareholder.
* Younger Directors = Directors aged 50 or under serving on an S&P 500 board as of December 29, 2017.
Independent Younger Directors come from a range of industries, but the majority work in the financial or information technology sector.
Only 18% have been on the board for more than five years.
Women comprise a much larger percentage of Younger Directors than S&P 500 directors overall.2 Among just the independent Younger Directors, the percentage of women is even higher, at 37%.
But, while female Younger Directors continue to gain more of a foothold in the boardroom, nine out of 10 times, when a significant shareholder is nominating a Younger Director, that person is male.
Only 43% of S&P 500 public companies have at least one Younger Director on the board. In fact, Younger Directors make up only 6% of the seats on S&P 500 boards, and the average age of directors continues to rise. The average age of independent directors in the S&P 500 rose from 61 in 2007 to 63 in 2017.3
Companies with a CEO aged 50 or under are significantly more likely to have Younger Directors on the board.
According to their companies’ SEC filings, 96% of Younger Directors cite active jobs or positions in addition to their board service.
Just under one-third are cited for their technology expertise, executive experience or industry knowledge. Among directors nominated under family shareholder arrangements, several are cited for their knowledge of the “history and culture” of the company.
1 PwC, 2017 Annual Corporate Directors Survey, October 2017.
2 Spencer Stuart, 2017 Spencer Stuart U.S. Board Index, December 2017.
3 Spencer Stuart, 2017 Spencer Stuart U.S. Board Index, December 2017.