Female representation on UCIT boards increases, according to KPMG Ireland

Irish News | Fri 26 Feb | Author – Business & Finance

49% of independent directors appointed were female. 61% of companies had two nationalities on the Board of Directors. The average remuneration of directors increased in 2020 compared to 2019.

KPMG published its annual analysis on directors’ remuneration and board composition in Irish Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) companies. Now in its fourth year, the report expanded its scope to include details of the diversity trends in board composition by looking at nationality and gender allocation at Board level over the last three years.

As at November 2020, 49% of independent directors appointed to UCIT boards were female. However, 81% of independent directors are male and 44% of companies had all male directors.

Of the 213 UCITS companies examined, the majority had directors of at least two different nationalities. 61% had 2 nationalities on the Board of Directors and 32% had more than 2 nationalities. The most common nationality of directors was Irish at 54%, with 19% of directors disclosing nationality as British and 12% of directors disclosing nationality as American.

The analysis found that 83% of companies disclosed individual directors renumeration. The average aggregate remuneration of directors increased slightly in 2020 compared to 2019 (€72,067 in 2020; €70,767 in 2019).

Commenting on the findings, Jennifer Fitzpatrick, Director, KPMG Ireland said: “We note winds of change in the Asset Management industry relating to diversity. Diversity remains a key agenda item for the Asset Management sector’s regulators. Our guide offers a broad overview on board composition and directors’ remuneration and we hope that it is a beneficial benchmarking tool.

“This year we have included details of the diversity trends in Board composition by looking at nationality and gender allocation at Board level over the last three years. From this year’s report we can see gradual progress. This is encouraging as increased diversity benefits both business and the Irish economy. However, we need to continue to drive change by placing diversity at the centre of the agenda for boards in Ireland.”