One third of the largest Swiss listed companies endorse an advisory vote on executive remuneration

33 out of the 100 largest Swiss listed companies will implement an advisory vote of the remuneration report or system at their 2011 annual general meeting. In 2010, only twenty companies conducted such a vote. This progression is due in particular to the efforts of Ethos Foundation and shows the companies' self-regulation effort. More progress is however needed to meet the expectations of institutional shareholders and avoid the introduction of new regulations.

Ethos Survey on 2009 Executive Remuneration: Increased Pay Despite the Crisis

Ethos published today its 2009 study on the executive remuneration at the 49 largest Swiss listed companies. Aggregate remuneration increased by 21%. The increase is particularly high in the financial sector (+73% on 2008). In addition, several companies run incentive plans whereby initial grants have substantial upward potential.

UBS Annual General Meeting: Ethos opposes the remuneration report, the discharge of the Board of Directors and the election of Wolfgang Mayrhuber

Ethos cannot approve the remuneration report of UBS at the 14 April 2010 General Meeting, given important shortcomings of the remuneration system which was approved by the shareholders in 2009, but which the Board subsequently modified. In addition, Ethos recommends that shareholders oppose the discharge of the board members and executive management who are responsible for the bank's enormous losses over the past few years.

Ethos Commends Separation of Chairman and CEO Positions at Novartis

Ethos commends the decision by Novartis to separate the positions of Chairman of the Board and CEO. Moreover, Novartis has accepted to put its remuneration system to the vote of the shareholders. The two decisions meet Ethos' demands and the expectations of institutional investors. Consequently, Ethos has decided to withdraw its “Stop Chairman-CEO” and “Say on Pay” resolutions from the agenda of the General Meeting of 26 February 2010.

Ethos « Say on Pay » Campaign Garnered Success

The “Say on Pay” shareholder resolutions placed by Ethos and eight Swiss public pension funds on the agenda of the general meetings of the five largest Swiss listed companies bore fruit. Four amongst the targeted companies (ABB, Credit Suisse Group, Nestlé and UBS) accepted to submit the executive remuneration to the shareholder vote, allowing Ethos to withdraw the resolution.

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