EQS Group-News: Swiss Re Ltd / Key word(s): Miscellaneous
Zurich, 16 April 2021 - Swiss Re's shareholders approved all proposals put forward by the Board of Directors at today's Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Zurich. This included the distribution of an ordinary dividend of CHF 5.90 per share as well as the election of Sergio P. Ermotti as new Chairman of the Board of Directors and the re-election of all other proposed members of the Board. The Board of Directors also decided to award the title of Honorary Chairman to Walter B. Kielholz to recognise his services to Swiss Re.
Walter B. Kielholz said: 'Since I first joined Swiss Re in 1989, our world, our society and our company have faced challenges and undergone changes. On each such occasion, we had to adapt - constantly assessing and developing our business, while always fulfilling our role as shock absorber.
'There will be new challenges, and the pace of change is only likely to accelerate. However, I am confident that Swiss Re is well positioned for the future. Thanks to our committed employees and culture of collaboration and innovation, Swiss Re can not only overcome any obstacles but will continue to lead by example - shaping a resilient and sustainable society for future generations.'
In recognition of Walter B. Kielholz's invaluable services to Swiss Re over the past decades, the Board of Directors has decided to award him the title of Honorary Chairman. This is only the third time this prestigious title has been awarded at Swiss Re in its more than 150 years of history.
Swiss Re's Vice Chairman Renato Fassbind said: 'On behalf of our shareholders, the members of the Board and our employees, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Walter Kielholz for his services and accomplishments as Chairman of Swiss Re's Board of Directors over the past 12 years. He has been an integral part of our company for decades and has played a pivotal role in shaping the development of not only Swiss Re but the entire Swiss financial centre. I wish him all the best for his well-deserved retirement and would like to congratulate him on his appointment as Honorary Chairman of Swiss Re. Likewise, I would like to congratulate Sergio Ermotti on his election as new Chairman and look forward to continuing our successful collaboration.'
Swiss Re's Chairman Sergio P. Ermotti said: 'I am honoured to be succeeding Walter Kielholz in the role as Chairman of the Board and want to thank shareholders for the trust they have placed in me. I look forward to continuing working closely with the Board and the management team to further evolve our company, leveraging our proven risk expertise and partnerships to innovate and improve the societal resilience in this everchanging and fast evolving landscape.'
In line with the preventive measures announced by the Swiss Federal Council, and in order to best protect the health of Swiss Re's shareholders and employees, the AGM took place without the shareholders' presence. Shareholders were able to exercise their voting rights by providing instructions to the independent proxy, Proxy Voting Services GmbH, electronically or in writing. Votes were cast by shareholders representing 62.8% of the shares entitled to vote.
Distribution of dividend
With a majority of 93.7% of the votes cast, shareholders approved the proposal of the Board of Directors to pay out an ordinary dividend of CHF 5.90 per share for the 2020 financial year - at the same level as the previous year's distribution and reflecting Swiss Re's very strong capital position.
Following the AGM's approval, the dividends will be paid out of voluntary profit reserves and will be distributed beginning 22 April 2021. From 20 April 2021 Swiss Re shares will be traded ex-dividend.
Elections to the Board of Directors
As proposed by the Board of Directors, shareholders approved the election of Sergio P. Ermotti as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors for a one-year term of office, following Walter B. Kielholz's decision not to stand for re-election and retire from this position after 12 years of tenure.
Shareholders also re-elected all other proposed members of the Board of Directors as well as the proposed members of the Compensation Committee for a one-year period. In addition, Renato Fassbind was re-appointed as Vice Chairman and as Lead Independent Director at the post-AGM meeting of the Board of Directors.
Approval of the compensation of the Board of Directors and Group Executive Committee
Shareholders approved the maximum aggregate amount of compensation for the members of the Board of Directors for the one-year term until the completion of the AGM 2022 with 87.3% of the votes cast.
Shareholders also approved the aggregate amount of variable short-term compensation for the members of the Group Executive Committee for the 2020 financial year with 88.7% of the votes cast. In addition, shareholders approved the maximum aggregate amount of fixed compensation and variable long-term compensation for the members of the Group Executive Committee for the 2022 financial year with 88.1%.
In a consultative vote, the shareholders approved the 2020 Compensation Report with 74.8% of the votes cast.
Additional voting results and information
Further proposals by the Board of Directors that were approved by today's AGM included:
Detailed voting results and minutes of the AGM as well as the speeches by the former and new Chairmen as well as by the Group Chief Executive Officer are available on Swiss Re's website. A replay of today's post-AGM shareholder information event, which took place at 10:00 (CEST), will also be accessible on the website.
Cautionary note on forward-looking statements
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Swiss Re Ltd
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