Monday, 16 March 2020 18:10

Canadian Boards Report - Board Member Equity and Cash Remuneration Split Featured

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Board member remuneration varied significantly between Canadian and U.S. companies. The Entrepreneurial Boards Composition and Compensation Survey: The Canada Report divided remuneration into four basic categories: Cash Only; Cash and Equity; Equity Only; No Cash, No Equity. (See Figure 6.1)

Canadian companies are more generous to their board members than their U.S. counterparts. The cash-only compensation is the only similar number between our Canadian and U.S. samples. Cash-only remuneration is given in 11% of Canadian companies and 13% of U.S. companies.

45% of Canadian companies offer both cash and equity versus 24% of US companies. At the other end of the spectrum, 14% of Canadian companies and 24% of US companies pay no compensation to board members. Overall, Canadian companies are more generous to their board members.

It is unclear why this is. Perhaps it is due to the size of the Canadian market and the perception of the difficulty of obtaining outstanding board members. The Canadian entrepreneurial ecosystem is still forming and the number of successful entrepreneurs that have been through several companies is not as large. Also, many other independents need to be brought up from the United States, and perhaps there is a perception that more compensation needs to be given for this to be realized.

Figure 6.1: Board Member Remuneration - Canadian vs. U.S. Companies

Board Member Remuneration - Canadian vs. US Companies

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Dora Vell

Dora Vell is the Managing Partner of Vell Executive Search, a boutique executive search firm in Boston focused on recruiting technology executives and board members. Vell has successfully completed numerous board member and C-level executive searches, including CEOs, COOs, CIOs, and Vice Presidents - at both public and private companies.

Prior to founding the firm in 2005, Vell was a Partner at Heidrick & Struggles' Technology practice for seven years.  Before her career in executive search, she worked at IBM for 11 years, managing software engineering organizations of 100 people and software sales organizations with revenues of $150 million. She has also served as an executive assistant to the CEO of IBM Canada for one year.

Vell holds seven worldwide software patents. She has published several Business of Leadership reports on governance and leadership and has been quoted in numerous articles including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Fortune, Agenda Week, MSNBC, Mass High Tech, the OPUS for the World Economic Forum, Boston Business Journal, The Globe & Mail, CIO Magazine, and IEEE. She also has been a featured speaker on leadership at numerous conferences and at Columbia University's MBA program.

Vell is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the Boston CEO Roundtable. She has served on the boards of Framingham State, Entrepreneur's Organization, Goodwill, Mary Centre for developmentally handicapped adults,, and RBC Capital Partners.

She has received an MBA from the University of Toronto, a Master in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, and a Bachelor in Computer Science from Carleton. She has also completed the MIT Entrepreneurial Master’s program.

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