The average compensation for board members at 500 publicly traded companies was $232,142 in 2011 and $242,385 in 2012. The average compensation for board members at the top six investment banks was $328,655 in 2011. This amount includes salary and performance-triggered bonuses.
Board members are compensated at a higher rate at the top firms. At Morgan Stanley, board members received an average of $357,708 in 2011 and $351,189 in 2012. At Goldman Sachs, board members received an average compensation of $488,709 in 2011. Criticism of this exorbitant pay claims that while it is important for companies to have effective and sophisticated boards, members are sometimes overpaid at the expense of the company.