Ethos have announced that eight of the 20 companies included in the Swiss SMI Index have now agreed to implement a vote on remuneration issues.
In the autumn of 2008, Ethos and eight Swiss pension funds filed a “say-on-pay” resolution requesting an advisory vote on the remuneration reports of five of the largest listed companies in Switzerland. Four of the companies (ABB, Credit Suisse Group, Nestlé and UBS) agreed to submit their respective remuneration reports/system to an advisory vote at their 2009 annual general meetings, enabling Ethos to withdraw the resolution.
The Ethos resolution at the Novartis meeting saw 31.1% vote in favour with a further 3.9% submitting abstentions. While the resolution failed, it recorded the second-highest level of support for a shareholder requisitioned resolution in the S&P Europe 350 index according to Manifest data.
For 2010, Ethos has filed the same “say-on-pay” resolution at three companies, Holcim, Swiss Re and Zurich Financial Services, and filed a second time with Novartis, with a view to the 2010 shareholder meetings. Zurich Financial Services and Swiss Re have accepted to pro-actively submit their remuneration system/report to an advisory vote of the shareholders at their 2010 annual general meeting. Both Roche and Swiss Life had previously indicated that they would propose an advisory vote on the remuneration report at their 2010 AGMs.