Fees for non-executive directors at leading UK companies rose by one-fifth over the past year and are likely to increase much more amid growing investor scrutiny, rising workloads and greater focus on corporate governance.
A survey published yesterday by pay consultancy Incomes Data Services said the average pay increase for a UK non-executive director (NED) was 21 per cent and rising.
"While these figures are based on relatively small numbers, as companies do not review NED fees on a regular annual cycle they do indicate that rates are escalating and that over the next few years many NEDs may end up receiving substantially more money," IDS said.
Fees ranged from as low as £ 5,000 at Anglo- French Channel tunnel operator Eurotunnel to £95,000 at Vodafone, IDS said in its compensation review study.
The median annual fee for a non-executive director in a FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 firm was £42,000 and £30,000 respectively.
The findings are based on research into the pay of more than 1,400 non-executive directors of FTSE 350 companies based on company accounts.
It follows year-end dates running from January 2004 to March this year.
IDS said more stringent corporate governance in the wake of the Governmentsponsored study by banker Derek Higgs, which set out standards and best practices, had led to improved disclosure in corporate accounts.