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EY Independent directors: New class of 2017

EY Center for Board Matters
Companies are continuing to bring fresh and diverse perspectives into the boardroom and to enhance alignment of board composition with their forward-looking strategies.

In our second annual report, we share the results of our analysis of independent directors who were elected by shareholders to the board of a Fortune 100 company for the first time in 2017 – what we refer to as the “new class of 2017.”

We looked at corporate disclosures to see what qualifications and characteristics were specifically highlighted, showcasing what this new class of directors brings to the boardroom.

  • Our research was based on a review of proxy statements filed by companies on the 2017 Fortune 100 list.
  • We also reviewed the same 83 companies’ class of 2016 directors to provide consistency in year-on-year comparisons.

Key findings
1. Most Fortune 100 companies welcomed a new independent director in 2017.
2. The class of 2017 brings greater finance and accounting, public policy and regulatory, and operational skills to the table.
3. Most of the 2017 entering class was assigned to audit committees.
4. The Fortune 100 class of 2017 includes more non-CEOs.
5. The class of 2017 is 40% female.
6. The class of 2017 tends to be younger.
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