The 21st edition of its proxy voting guidelines and corporate governance principles is an opportunity to strengthen the sustainability and diversity requirements of the Ethos Foundation. The criteria for approving a sustainability or a climate report submitted to shareholder approval have been detailed. In addition, the re-election of the chairperson of the sustainability committees of companies with high CO2 emissions whose transition plan is deemed unsatisfactory will be refused.
Roche shareholders are due to vote on November 26 on the agreement to repurchase 53.3 million Roche shares from Novartis. While Ethos agrees that the exit of Roche’s main competitor from its capital makes sense, it considers that the option chosen is not in the interest of minority shareholders given that the historic controlling shareholder will see his voting rights increase from 45% to 67.5% without having to make any investment.
The bank has been hit by two financial scandals (Archegos Capital and Greensill) in recent week which have raised questions on its governance and risk management processes. As a shareholder and representative of numerous Swiss pension funds, Ethos has sent to the board of directors questions in relation with these recent cases.
Credit Suisse: Ethos expects full transparency on investigations requested by the board of directors
Ethos welcomes the bank's decision not to pay variable remuneration and not to ask shareholders to grant discharge to the members of both the board of directors and the executive management for the year 2020. Investigations have also been opened following two financial scandals which expose the bank to significant financial losses.
LafargeHolcim announced today that it has agreed to Ethos' request to prepare a climate transition report and to submit it to an advisory shareholder vote at its 2022 annual general meeting (AGM). Ethos welcomes the board's decision to involve shareholders in the validation of its climate strategy.
Over the last few months, Ethos Foundation has held numerous discussions with the boards of Nestlé and LafargeHolcim with the aim of encouraging them to voluntarily submit their climate transition plans to a shareholder vote. After Ethos and seven Swiss pension funds submitted a shareholder resolution at Nestlé's annual general meeting (AGM), the board of directors announced on Tuesday 16 March that it would submit its climate strategy to an advisory vote at the AGM on 15 April 2021. Following this welcome decision, Ethos withdrew its shareholder resolution. Discussions with LafargeHolcim are ongoing and the company will announce its decision in the coming weeks.
Ethos published this Thursday the 20th edition of its voting guidelines and governance principles for the 2021 general meetings. Ethos asks the major emitters of greenhouse gases to publish and submit to shareholders' approval an annual report on their climate strategy and introduces new voting criteria into its guidelines.
At Credit Suisse Group’s annual general meeting to be held on 30 April 2020, Ethos recommends not to grant the discharge to the bank’s governing bodies, in light of the serious governance failings revealed by the surveillance of the bank’s former managers. Ethos also recommends to oppose the board and executive remuneration, as well as the re-election of the chairman of the board of directors. Finally, due to the economic uncertainties relative to the Covid-19 pandemic, Ethos recommends shareholders to forgo the payment of the dividend this year.