Boardroom Indicator: 51%

According to a recent Equilar report, 51.0% of all S&P 500 board seats were occupied by directors who served on more than one public board. That figure is up slightly from 2012, though it dipped between 2015 and 2016.

directors on multiple boards
Source: Equilar

Multi-boarding practices have been called into question in the past, and both shareholders and proxy advisors have implemented policies that suggest directors should sit on no more than five boards, and that sitting executives should sit on no more than one board other than their own. Critics believe these busy directors may be overcommitted and unable to contribute the necessary time and resources to serving on multiple boards.

For the most part, however, directors in the study sat on only two S&P 500 or Russell 3000 boards at the same time. According to the Equilar study, 69.7% of multi-boarded directors sat on two boards within the S&P 500 and Russell 3000, compared to 23.7% that sat on three boards, and 6.6% who served on four or more. The most boards that a single director sat on within the S&P 500 and Russell 3000 was 10 in 2015, a number that dropped to seven in 2016.

number of seats occupied by board directors
Source: Equilar

For more data about multi-boarded directors by gender, read the recent Equilar article “Female Directors More Likely Than Men to Serve on Multiple Boards.”

For more information on Equilar’s research and data analysis, please contact Dan Marcec, Director of Content at 

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