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Switzerland — Executive pay up in 2009 despite the economic crisis

05 July 2010

The latest report on executive remuneration at the 49 largest listed companies of Switzerland published by the Swiss Foundation for Sustainable Development (Ethos), shows the aggregate remuneration of the members of the board of directors and of the executive management increased by +21% to 1.27 billion Swiss Francs (CHF) in 2009 when compared to the previous year.

While the increase was +73% in the financial sector, it was just +2% in the other sectors. On average, chairmen were paid CHF 1.9 million (approximately 1.4 Euro million) while non-executive directors were paid CHF 300,000 (approximately 225,000 Euro).

While the global financial crisis and resulting economic downturn did not impact Switzerland as badly as some countires, GDP did decline by -1.5% in 2009 and its prized banking sector faced significant challenges with the country's largest banks suffering sizable losses.

21 Swiss listed companies have now put their remuneration report and system to the advisory vote of the shareholders. This is in response to the 'Say on Pay' resolutions tabled by Ethos and eight pension funds in 2009 and 2010.

Ethos calls on all companies to proceed to an advisory vote of their remuneration report or system. To this end, Ethos wrote a letter to the companies that have not implemented such a vote yet. In case of negative response, Ethos will continue tabling new resolutions at the 2011 general meetings. In parallel, Ethos will intensify the dialogue regarding transparency and structure of remuneration with the 100 most important listed companies, on behalf of 48 pension funds participating in the Ethos Engagement Pool programme.

To read the full report in French language please click here



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