The ordinance “against excessive remuneration”, which entered into force in January 2014, requires Swiss pension funds to vote their shares in Swiss listed companies as of January 2015 at the latest. Moreover, the ordinance requires that pension funds report annually to their members on their voting activity by disclosing their voting positions for each item on the agenda. Many of Ethos’ clients have recognized the importance of active ownership and have been exercising their voting rights on a voluntary basis for years. The exercise of voting rights is a means for responsible investors to protect their capital in the long term.
As of 2015, voting is part of Swiss pension funds' stewardship duty toward their members. To help fulfill this task and meet the new Swiss legal requirements, Ethos offers a service of detailed proxy voting reports for every general meeting with voting recommendations for each item on the agenda. On demand, Ethos also provides customized administrative support with regard to voting execution.
Ethos provides analyses of all items of shareholder meeting agendas of Swiss companies. Investors can subscribe to the following proxy analyses services, which include access to Ethos' online platform:
- Companies of the SMI: 20 largest Swiss listed companies
- Companies of the SLI: 30 largest Swiss listed companies
- Companies of the SMI Expanded: approx. 50 largest Swiss listed companies
- 100 largest Swiss companies
- All companies of the SPI and Swiss companies which are listed abroad and are part of the MSCI World.
- This service includes a free choice of analyses within the Ethos investment universe.
Ethos’ reports include a detailed analysis of each item on the agenda and voting recommendations based on Ethos' Corporate Governance Principles and Proxy Voting Guidelines. Also, the analyses include general information on each company, in particular its Board of Directors and Executive remuneration. The analyses are sent to clients by e-mail, generally at least twelve days prior to the General Meetings. A comprehensive quarterly report provides a summary of all items voted.
If you wish to receive a customised offer for the service of shareholder meeting analyses or need more information on this topic, do not hesitate to contact us.
Ethos offers different packages of shareholder meeting analyses for non Swiss companies (Europe, North America, Asia/Pacific). Please contact us for an offer tailored to your particular requirements.
The voting recommendations are based on Ethos' voting guidelines. The underlying research is made by the following partners:
- Europe: The local partners of the network Expert Corporate Governance Service (ECGS) of which Ethos is the Swiss member
- North America and Asia/Pacific: Sustainable Investment Research Institute (SIRIS), Melbourne
For institutional investors who have subscribed to the proxy analyses service, Ethos can also provide administrative support for the exercise of shareholder voting rights. This service allows institutional investors to delegate to Ethos the tasks related to to the execution of the vote at the shareholder meetings.
If you wish to receive more information on this service, please contact us.
Private investors with holdings in Swiss listed companies which are part of the SPI may delegate their voting rights to Ethos, with the exception of the following companies: BKW, Syngenta, Evolva, CI Com and Highlight Event and Entertainment. Their voting rights will be exercised according to Ethos' voting recommendations. We would be grateful for you to proceed as follows:
- On the registration form, tick the box "I appoint as proxy the following shareholder"
- Fill in the proxy's name: «Ethos Foundation, Place Cornavin 2, 1211 Geneva 1»
- Mark on the form that the admission card shall be sent to the proxy.
- Sign the form and send it back to the company's shareholder registry with the envelope enclosed with the invitation. Ethos will then receive from the company the admission card to the shareholder meeting.
If the registration form for the General Meeting does not include the option to delegate proxy rights, an admission card has to be requested. Proxy can then be issued on the admission card (see point 2 above). The signed admission card should then be sent directly to Ethos.
Ethos publishes its voting recommendations for the shareholder meetings of Swiss companies two days prior to the shareholder meeting on its web page.