May 19, 2020

Are NZ Directors being paid enough?

EY partner Una Diver
Institute of Directors' 2016 Directors' Fees report
Egan Associates Australia
HR advisory Sheffield
Harry Allan
2 min
Are NZ Directors being paid enough?

According to recent studies, non-executive directors working in New Zealand are being paid less than their counterparts in other developed economies, which could be affecting the local governance talent pool.

The Institute of Directors' (IOD) 2016 Directors' Fees report (in association with Ernst & Young) recorded that the average directors' fee for non-executive directors is $55,843.

A report from Australian remuneration consultants Egan Associates showed non-executive directors in Australia's top 50 companies were paid an average NZ$268,000.

EY partner Una Diver posited that the fee level will "absolutely" result in a governance skills shortage in New Zealand. Key skills, particularly in the cyber realm, are emerging that were not expected in previous years. She added that risk from cyber-attack is something all organisations face and there are few directors who understand it well.

She said: "Why would you want to be a [non-executive] director when effectively, you're probably at the peak of your earning power at the moment if you have strong cyber skills?"

HR advisory company Sheffield’s executive director Ian Taylor countered, and said that governance is seen as a viable alternative career path, allowing people to have strategic influence and value in companies. And, it seems to him, pay has little effect on numbers.

Taylor said: "Businesses in New Zealand, generally speaking, work on pretty tight margins. The levels of efficiencies have to be very good here for a whole host of reasons. There's a backdrop of affordability behind this whole issue that needs to be appreciated as well. That reflects the size, scale, sophistication and complexity of the market here."

Nick Carter of human resources firm Brannigans Consultancy says directors' fees in New Zealand are not as fair as they could be: "We're moving more into a global economy and the battle for talent is a global one, especially if organisations in New Zealand are wanting to export and take on international markets." 

Business Review Australia & Asia's August issue is live. 

Follow @BizReviewAU and @MrNLon on Twitter. 

Business Review Australia is also on Facebook. 

SOURCE: [Stuff

Share article

Jun 7, 2021

Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek

3 min
Singaporean Ho Ching created the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia, before leading Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund to global success

Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.

Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.

Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.

Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.

As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.

It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.

But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.

As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.

So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.


Share article