File picture

Cape Town - Fees paid to non-executive directors at JSE-listed companies have moderately increased, auditing firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said on Thursday.

“The median chairperson fee across the entire JSE has risen by 7.1 percent to R422,000,” PwC's Southern Africa human resource services head Gerald Seegers told reporters in Johannesburg.

PwC released the seventh edition of its Annual Review of Non-Executive Directors' Practices and Fees.

It examines the boards of 358 companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, according to results released by November 30.

“Overall, this premium is around 50 percent when compared to the overall fees of non-executive directors, where the median fee has only increased by 4.3 percent to R288,000 (from R276,000 in 2012).”

This was considered low by global standards.

The financial services sector, which represents a quarter of JSE listed companies, showed the most restraint, due to high levels of regulation.

“Total fees paid to non-executive directors in this sector increased by 9.3 percent. This saw overall fees increase at the median level from R728,000 to R795,000,” Seegers said.

The basic resources sector saw massive increases in compensation to non-executive directors and board chairpersons.

The pay for chairpersons in the large-cap companies sector grew by 51.4 percent.

“In the small-cap companies, non-executive directors saw an increase of 48.1 percent at the median level, which is almost double what they were in 2011,” Seegers said.

The huge increases were attributed to companies compensating directors in foreign currency.

In the industrial sector, which represents 29 percent of JSE-listed companies, there were marginal increases for board chairpersons.

Non-executive directors in the medium-cap and small-cap companies saw overall fees increase at the median level from R889,000 to R901,000, almost double what they were in 2011. - Sapa