Building your Board portfolio

Graham Willis Springboard

I talk to a lot of Directors who are looking to build their portfolio and there is a common view that there are so few Non-Executive Director (NED) roles around, that their chances of building a portfolio are limited. Let’s have a look at the facts about what is available. 

There are just over 2,000 board roles in the ASX300 alone, of the order of 4,000 Government board and committee roles in NSW and VIC and around 6,000 board roles for the larger ($1M+) Registered Charities. There are even more board roles if you add private company boards, boards of international subsidiaries, advisory boards and the other 1,964 listed companies.

Not all these roles are up for appointment every year. 

If we assume that a director serves for at least one term and that the term is four years (the bulk of them are between three and five years…some Government and advisory roles are as short as one year) then around 1,400 Government and listed company roles (in the ASX300) come up for appointment in NSW and VIC every year. 

Extrapolating the Government board roles across Australia (on a population basis) and adding in the Not for Profit board roles, you have a total number of board roles up for appointment at somewhere between 3500 and 4000 per year, and that is without even considering the 1,964 listed companies outside the ASX300.

In summary, there are a large number of board roles up for appointment every year. It’s also true that a large number of people are interested in serving on a board… so not everyone is going to get a role every time.

On a final note.

There are literally thousands of board seats that come up for appointment every year. Don’t call ‘time’ before you’ve even really started the process of building a board portfolio.

In the next article, I’ll examine the myth that it’s not worth responding to approaches or advertisements.

To build your portfolio apply the 4 Ps:

Pragmatic, Planned, Persistent and Professional.


by Graham Willis