The average age of non-executive directors on the boards of ASX 100 companies has increased over the past 15 years, says the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI).
The industry body’s Board Composition and Non-Executive Director Pay in the Top 200 Companies 2015 report found the average age of non-executive directors (NED) to be 61.9, almost three years higher than when the study first commenced in 2001.
ACSI chief executive Louise Davidson said the “still large cohort” of long serving male directors over the age of 70 was helping to drive the long-term average up, noting that 14 per cent of male NEDs were above the age of 70, compared with just 2 per cent of female directors.
Despite the long-term upward trend in NED ages, average ages have declined slightly in each of the last 3 years, with 2015 marking the first year since 2011 that the average age has fallen below 62.
This change could owe in part to the increasing number of female NEDs, who are on average six years younger than their male peers – 57.9 years old for women compared to 63.5 for men – though ACSI executive manager of governance, policy and research Ed John told InvestorDaily this year-on-year data may not be indicative of a change to the longer-term trend.