At the Novartis annual general meeting, 31% of the shareowners supported the «Say on Pay» resolution submitted by Ethos and eight Swiss pension funds, requesting an advisory vote of the remuneration report. This result is a strong signal of the shareholders' will to obtain more rights in setting executive remuneration.

«The shareholders' strong support to our resolution shows that our approach is the right one” said Dominique Biedermann, Ethos' Executive Director. «The Board of Directors of Novartis should take the necessary steps to enhance shareholder rights with regard to setting executive remuneration”.

Reinforcing shareholder rights with regard to executive remuneration will be a decisive step to restore investor confidence. The current financial crisis shows that it is necessary to have more transparency and control in this field. Several large Swiss listed companies such as Roche, Credit Suisse Group, Nestlé, Schindler and UBS have already decided to give their shareholders a say on pay at their next general meeting.