Board and CEO Advisory Partners

The Road to Corporate Governance: Spanish Listed Companies’ Study

 



In October 2020, Russell Reynolds Associates published a new study of corporate governance at all Spanish- listed companies (Ibex 35 and IGBM). In this study, we analyse different aspects of best practices for board effectiveness to provide a snapshot of public companies’ progress in incorporating the Good Governance Code recommended by CNMV, Spain’s national securities regulator. 

Takeaways

1. New Profiles

Between February 2019 and August 2020, 232 new directors were appointed to Spain’s public companies, 44 percent of whom have experience in P&L management and 14 percent of whom have been CFOs for listed or unlisted companies. In addition, 20 percent have worked for public institutions and 15 percent have experience in education. 

2. Directors’ Age

Both IBEX 35 & IGBM female directors are younger, on average, than male directors. Female directors also tend to be younger when looking at the average age of first board appointment.

3. Directors’ Background

Regarding all board members’ executive experience, a large majority comes from the financial sector, followed by public and industrial sectors. In addition, more than 40 percent of directors have experience in P&L management of listed or unlisted companies. 

4. Cross-linkages

74 percent of Spain’s listed companies have board members in common.

5. Independence

We find a higher presence of independent directors in the IBEX 35 (55%) than the IGBM (43%). Regarding lead independent directors, there is a trend to appoint one even if it is not required by regulation. Regardless of having power split between the CEO and the chairman, 29 percent of companies have a lead independent director on their boards. However, 16 percent of companies without a power split still do not comply with the recommendation.

6. Diversity

The CNMV’s recommendation for 2022 is for female directors to comprise 40 percent of each board, Currently, only 9 percent of companies comply with this. As of August 2020, women only accounted for 30 percent of directors in Ibex 35 companies and 23 percent in IGBM companies.

7. Digital expertise

The recommendation for digital experience implies a great challenge for Spanish boards. Currently, only 7 percent of public company directors’ have digital expertise, if analysed against MIT qualification standards. Likewise, only six companies have created a committee dedicated to digital, technology or cybersecurity, given the slim share of members with technology backgrounds.

8. Geographies

International directors currently represent 20 percent of board members. However, the presence of international directors is highly correlated with foreign companies that are publicly-traded in Spanish markets.
For more details of this year’s analysis, click on “Download PDF” at the top of the page. 

Author

Ramón Gómez de Olea is Russell Reynolds Associates’ country manager for Spain, which includes the Madrid and Barcelona offices. He is also a senior member of the Board and CEO Advisory Partners and Leadership and Succession practices. 
Discover more about our expertise in

Board & CEO Advisory Partners


We help create strong and stable leadership with the only integrated CEO/Board Advisory Services for corporations and nonprofit institutions.
Learn More

Additional Expertise


Sign up for our newsletter


Get the newsletter that prepares you for what's next with valuable insights across industries and geographies.












Discover more about our expertise in

Board & CEO Advisory Partners


We help create strong and stable leadership with the only integrated CEO/Board Advisory Services for corporations and nonprofit institutions.
Learn More

Featured Insight


Additional Expertise


Related Insights


Sign up for our newsletter

Get the newsletter that prepares you for what's next with valuable insights across industries and geographies.
The Road to Corporate Governance: Spanish Listed Companies’ Study