Voting rights : Swiss regulation on pension funds introduces new requirements
On 14th November, the Swiss Federal Council introduced a new requirement into its regulation on pension funds (OPP2 : ordonnance suisse sur la prévoyance professionnelle). Beginning 1st January 2002, Swiss pension funds will be obliged to define the way in which they intend to carry out their rights as shareholders. The ethos Foundation welcomes this development which should contribute to encouraging pension funds to systematically exercise their social rights, in particular their right to vote, in a responsible manner. Indeed, a shareholder has certain social rights which, for example, enable him to request information regarding important issues linked to the management of a company, to participate and speak at general shareholders’ meetings, to introduce a shareholder’s resolution and, finally, to vote..
One of the aims of the ethos Foundation is to facilitate shareholder voting. Its analysis of shareholder meetings of companies comprised in its different portfolio is therefore available to the members of the Foundation. These analyses include a detailed study of the meeting’s agenda as well as voting recommendations based on corporate governance codes of good conduct and the notion of sustainable development, as set out in the ethos Charter..
ethos’ voting guidelines as well as its voting positions can be found on this web site under “Shareholders’ Voting Rights”.