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Boards by the Numbers: New Directors in the Russell 3000

February 3, 2016

The election of new board members is typically a foremost topic of discussion during annual shareholder meetings. This year, with proxy access on the rise, activist and institutional shareholders alike have been focused on consistent assessment and regular refreshment of the board to ensure alignment with company strategy and shareholder return.

Over the next few weeks, Equilar’s “Boards by the Numbers” series will dive deep into data about America’s boardrooms at present in anticipation for what we expect to be a transformational year as shareholders, proxy advisors and regulators continue to express their voices about what’s happening in the boardroom.

In this edition, we analyzed the numbers around new board members that joined Russell 3000 boards for the most recently reported fiscal year.

2,729: The number of new board members at Russell 3000 companies in 2014. That equates to one new board member added every 3.2 hours throughout the year.

694: The number of new directors who joined financial services and banking companies, far more than any other industry. The biotech and pharmaceutical industry saw the next highest number, adding 478 directors.

559: The number of new directors that were female, comprising 20.5% of the total.

42: The number of Russell 3000 companies that added more than seven new board members in 2014. Equity Commonwealth added 13 new board members, followed by Darden Restaurants and Navient Corporation, which brought on 12 new directors.

The data in this report is powered by Equilar’s BoardEdge, which not only includes information on 140,000 directors and executives qualified for board service, but also more than a dozen categories about each board member’s background and leadership experience. BoardEdge’s defining feature is a networking tool that clearly displays how board members are connected to each other.

For more information on BoardEdge, or to request a demo, click here.

For more information on Equilar’s research and data analysis, please contact Dan Marcec, Director of Content & Marketing Communications at

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