Board Monitor Hong Kong 2019
Boards & Governance

Board Monitor Hong Kong 2019

Hong Kong’s public company boards are seeking new director skills and expertise. In this year’s report, we track what experience is in demand and how recruitment of directors is evolving.
Heidrick & Struggles
Board Monitor Hong Kong 2019

In this Board Monitor Hong Kong 2019 report, we examine the key attributes of new board appointees (their demographics, functional experience, and other background), map how those attributes flowed onto boards, and identify trends.

Our analysis surfaced the following key findings:

  • Of the 37 new non-executive director seats filled on the boards of the Hang Seng Index (HSI), 43% went to current or former CEOs and CFOs, which is markedly down from 67% last year.
  • At 57%, the share of seats that went to current executives is slightly more than last year, when the shares of current and former executives were evenly split.
  • A notably greater proportion of the newly appointed directors (78%) have previous board experience compared to last year (61%). And 41% have audit committee experience compared to 33% last year.
  • Women lost traction this year in terms of representation—only 5% of appointments were women, down from 20% last year.
  • In terms of the newly appointed directors’ overall career experiences, over half (54%) of that experience was in the financial services industry, followed by industrial, with 21%.
  • While last year almost no new seats were filled by people with digital, social media, cybersecurity, or financial risk experience, this year those numbers jumped to 8% for digital or social media experience, 8% for cybersecurity, and 5% for financial risk.


Thank you to David Hui, regional managing partner of Heidrick & Struggles’ Industrial Practice in Asia Pacific and leader of the CEO & Board Practice in Hong Kong, for his contributions to this report.

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