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Heidrick & Struggles

Singapore firms prefer experienced directors on their boards: study 

Male directors accounted for 57% of the new seats filled in 2022.

Singaporean boards have shown a strong preference for hiring directors with previous public board experience and those still active in their executive functions, according to the annual Heidrick & Struggles Board Monitor report. 

The report found that there were 35 new seats filled on the boards of the largest publicly listed companies in the Lion City in 2022, 69% of which had previous public board experience and only 31% taking seats for the first time. 

69% of these directors remained active in their executive roles, slightly higher than the 66% share in its regional rival, Hong Kong.

Nearly two-fifths of the new directors in Singapore have experience as CEOs, while 11% were formerly CFOs, 17% were formerly COOs, and the remainder (20%) had experience in other C-level positions.

Data showed all appointees had achieved at least a bachelor’s degree, while 43% had advanced degrees. Nearly 30% had master’s degrees and nearly 20% were juris doctors. Close to a third had MBAs.

As for demographics, male executives continued to dominate boardrooms after accounting for 57% of the new appointments in 2022, while female directors make up the remaining 43%. 

READ MORE: New women directors in Singapore dips to 28% in 2021

The average age of these new directors stood at 60, with 43 being the youngest and 72 the oldest. Nationality-wise, foreigners occupy 23% of these seats.

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