Board Accountability in Australia: A Review of Director Election Practices
• State Street Global Advisors believes that annual
director elections improve board accountability
and encourage board members to be more
responsive to shareholder interests, thereby
improving board quality.
• Most publicly listed companies in Australia have
staggered board election cycles limiting investors’
ability to hold directors directly accountable.
• Changing common practice to annual director
elections would allow shareholders to hold board
members accountable in a timely manner.
• Despite a heightened focus on the importance of
board accountability in the Australian market,
discussions around annual director elections
have largely been absent from public debate.
• Director election practices in Australia will be a
focus area for our Asset Stewardship efforts for the
following year. In our view, the issue is best addressed
at the market level. We encourage peer investors,
companies and regulators to work together to
promote positive market-wide progress towards
adopting annual director elections.