Outsider wants a seat on the board, any board so long as it pays

1 May 2020

Outsider is the first to admit that he suffers from the green-eyed monster of envy when it comes to remuneration but he thought he had put that all to one side when he heard news that the partners of the big four consulting firms such as Deloitte, KPMG and EY had taken pay cuts of up to 20% in the face of COVID-19.

Yes, Outsider was feeling the warm glow of schadenfreude as he thought of how few new BMW, Mercedes and Audis would be infesting the carpark of his favourite golf club until he saw the results of a survey detailing just how much certain people were being paid to sit on the boards of some of this nation’s publicly-listed companies.
According to the data put together by Apollo Communications, the best paid non-executive director with earnings of $1.8 million is Gordon Cairns with directorships on

Woolworths, Origin Energy and Macquarie, followed by Lindsay Maxsted ($1.6 million) from his service with Westpac, Transurban and BHP.  Although Mike Wilkins earned $2 million through his directorships with AMP, QBE and Medibank, this was distorted by his short-term tenure as acting AMP CEO.

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However, if you want to see where the real money is, the three highest paid single board directorships are Rio Tinto (Simon Thompson $1,601,760), AMP (Mike Wilkins at $1,516,000) and BHP (Ken MacKenzie at $1,331,520). 

Apollo noted that, “ironically, while BHP is Australia’s third-largest company in Australia, neither AMP or Rio ranks in the top 10, raising questions about why their chairmanships are so lucrative compared to larger companies”.

Outsider reckons that given the performance of some of these companies with big-paying boards they could do worse than offer him a directorship.

After all, while Outsider is not entirely of unblemished character, he does know how to read a balance sheet, is a past master at suppressing yawns, knows how to look the other way and is available for rounds of golf almost anytime, anywhere.

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