Governance | Boards of directors have taken the measure of societal issues during these months of crisis. So time for action
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October 19, 2021
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Les Echos’ article “Boards of directors have taken the measure of societal issues during these months of crisis.
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Excerpt from the article originally published in Les Echos

… One of the most widely addressed themes, corporate social responsibility, has quietly taken a place on the agenda of decision-making bodies, which have seemingly gauged the measure of the societal issues and imperatives of innovation that have grown in importance during these months of Covid. "Happily, CSR has wormed its way into the heart of strategy; never before have boards scrutinised to such an extent the ability of managers to manage a crisis and plan for the long term," observed Paul Jaeger and Marc Sanglé-Ferrière, managing directors at Russell Reynolds Associates, to whose annual study on the governance of CAC 40 and SBF 120 companies we were given exclusive access. The crisis situation has put huge pressure on managers. 

A CSR committee in 85% of CAC 40 companies 

This "responsible" state of mind may explain why the compensation of board directors has failed to keep pace with a heavier workload. While the number of SBF 120 board meetings has increased by 30%, from an average of 8.5 a year in 2018 to 11.4 in 2020, remuneration has stayed flat at 53,000 euros (non-CAC) and 87,000 euros (CAC 40). Another effect of the crisis is that some directors have foregone attendance fees, the amount of which has fallen on account of video-conference meetings. "While today in SBF 120 companies the payment of dividends is on the rise, it has yet to reach pre-crisis levels," said the headhunters. 

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