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Board Games: 20 years of shining a spotlight into Canada's boardrooms

For 20 years, Board Games, the Globe and Mail's ranking of Canada's corporate boards, has shined a spotlight into the country's boardrooms. Once again, a team of researchers at the Johnston Centre collected and verified data—the sole source used in the annual publication—to evaluate the boards of 220 S&P/TSX Composite Index companies on their corporate governance practices.


Here are some highlights from this year’s data and rankings:
• With scores of 98 (out of 100) each, five companies tied for first place: Canadian National Railway, Element Fleet Management, Intact Financial Corporation, Manulife Financial Corporation, and Royal Bank of Canada. These companies received near perfect marks across all categories – board composition, executive compensation, shareholder rights and disclosure.
• Over half of companies (54%) scored 80 points or more, up from 45% in 2020.


Executive Compensation


• 87% of companies have compensation plans that include provisions to ensure the CEO does not receive a bonus, under certain conditions.
• 43% of companies have provisions to ‘claw back' incentive payments to the CEO in the event of misconduct (as determined by the board and without requiring a financial restatement).




• 62% of companies disclose a target for the representation of women on the board (and set a timeline for achieving the target, already achieved the target, or surpassed 40% representation).


• 47% of companies have at least 33% women directors on the board. 5% have gender parity, with women representing at least half of board members.


• 11% of companies disclose information about recruitment processes that ensure members of designated groups (Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of visible minorities) are considered for board seats.
• 47% of companies have at least one person who is a visible minority on their board. 5% of companies have at least one board member who is Indigenous. 


Shareholder Engagement and Rights

• 64% of companies offer details on the ways they engage with shareholders – apart from at the annual general meeting and quarterly meetings – and the ways shareholders can engage with the board.

• Dual-class share companies account for 14% of the S&P/TSX Composite Index, more than double the number on the index since 2019.



To view this year’s rankings, click here.

To read last year’s highlights, click here.

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