Sitting on a Board of Directors in Quebec: A $55,000-a-Year Occupation

    MONTREAL, Feb. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - The latest study on practices and trends
in board administration and director compensation has revealed that the median
compensation for board members of Quebec's medium-sized and large
organizations is $54,714, up from $43,731 last year. The companies analyzed
include the 50 largest publicly listed corporations in Quebec, with annual
revenues exceeding C$300 million.
    This figure includes an annual fixed amount, in cash or shares, plus
director's fees and fees for sitting on one or more committees. Using the
median figure provides a more accurate reflection of what is paid by many of
Quebec's medium-sized businesses, since it is not influenced by the amounts
paid by some larger corporations.
    The median total compensation paid by companies that provide deferred
stock units (DSUs(1)) or shares as compensation was $66,766, compared to
$38,087 offered by those with no share-based compensation plan.

    New trends

    "Share ownership can play a part in aligning directors' interests with
those of the shareholders they represent. We plan to devote further study to
determining the reasons behind the significant gap between share-based and
cash-only compensation," says Michel Nadeau, Executive Director of the
Institute for Governance of Private and Public Organizations (IGPPO).
    The mining  and metals and transportation sectors offer the highest
median compensation to their directors ($110,000 and $108,500, respectively).
Financial services and industrial goods corporations are found at the other
end of the scale ($44,500 and $32,000).
    The median annual compensation paid to board  chairs is $190,000. This
does not include some 20 firms that do not offer compensation to the chair
because the position is occupied by a company executive.

    Other results

    The representation of women on corporate boards did not change
significantly in 2007. Women now hold 14% of directorships in Quebec. This
figure is comparable to statistics for the rest of Canada and the United
States. Nearly one board in six has no female members.
    Quebec companies are increasingly seeking out directors with industry and
global market expertise.
    As for assessment practices, 60% of the companies interviewed formally
evaluate the performance of their board chair, compared to 87% in the rest of
    A full report on the findings of the study can be found online at the
IGPPO ( and the Spencer Stuart ( websites.

    About the Institute for Governance and Spencer Stuart

    Established in September of 2005, the Institute for Governance of Private
and Public Organizations (IGPPO) is a joint initiative of HEC Montréal and
Concordia University (The John Molson School of Business) whose primary goal
is to improve the understanding of governance practices in Quebec and Canadian
companies. The Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to
coordinating research activities, undertaking intellectual initiatives,
offering customized solutions, strengthening governance capabilities, building
partnerships and promoting knowledge dissemination. The directors of the
Institute represent an impressive cross-section of people from the financial
sector, private-sector board members and academics. The board of the Institute
is chaired by Dr Yvan Allaire, Ph.D. (MIT), MSRC, a leading authority on
corporate strategy and governance.

    Founded in 1956, Spencer Stuart is the leading privately held, global
executive search firm. We are the advisor of choice among top companies
seeking guidance and counsel on senior leadership needs. We have unrivalled
access to leading executives around the world. Our clients range across
industries, from the world's largest companies to medium-sized businesses and
entrepreneurial start-ups. Strong leadership - starting with the CEO and
branching out to other key roles throughout the organization - is a key
differentiator and critical to sustained growth and long-term shareholder
value. The 10th annual Canadian Spencer Stuart Board Index, an analysis of the
board composition and processes of 100 publicly traded Canadian companies with
revenues exceeding $1 billion, begins with an examination of the role boards
are playing in the areas of leadership and human capital development.

    (1) Deferred stock units (DSUs) are payable upon an individual's
    termination of service as a director.  Each DSU is equivalent in value to
    one share.

For further information:

For further information: Mr Michel Nadeau, Executive Director, Institute
for Governance of Private and Public Organizations, (514) 340-6398; Mr Robert
C. Nadeau, Partner -in- charge of the Boards practice, Spencer Stuart, (514)

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