Shareholders of reinsurance giant Swiss Re today approved all proposals put forward by the company’s Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Zurich; marking the election of Sergio P. Ermotti as successor to Walter B. Kielholz as Chairman of the Board.
Swiss Re announced in early March 2020 that Ermotti, who has served as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and a member of the Group Executive Board of UBS Group since 2011, would be nominated to replace Kielholz following his decision not to stand for re-election.
Kielholz first joined the reinsurer more than three decades ago and in recognition of his service to Swiss Re, the Board decided to award him with the title of Honorary Chairman. In the company’s 150 year history, this is just the third time this title has been awarded.
“Since I first joined Swiss Re in 1989, our world, our society and our company have faced challenges and undergone changes. On each such occasion, we had to adapt – constantly assessing and developing our business, while always fulfilling our role as shock absorber,” said Kielholz.
“There will be new challenges, and the pace of change is only likely to accelerate. However, I am confident that Swiss Re is well positioned for the future. Thanks to our committed employees and culture of collaboration and innovation, Swiss Re can not only overcome any obstacles but will continue to lead by example – shaping a resilient and sustainable society for future generations,” he added.
Swiss Re’s Vice Chairman, Renato Fassbind, commented: “On behalf of our shareholders, the members of the Board and our employees, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Walter Kielholz for his services and accomplishments as Chairman of Swiss Re’s Board of Directors over the past 12 years. He has been an integral part of our company for decades and has played a pivotal role in shaping the development of not only Swiss Re but the entire Swiss financial centre.
“I wish him all the best for his well-deserved retirement and would like to congratulate him on his appointment as Honorary Chairman of Swiss Re. Likewise, I would like to congratulate Sergio Ermotti on his election as new Chairman and look forward to continuing our successful collaboration.”
Ermotti added: “I am honoured to be succeeding Walter Kielholz in the role as Chairman of the Board and want to thank shareholders for the trust they have placed in me. I look forward to continuing working closely with the Board and the management team to further evolve our company, leveraging our proven risk expertise and partnerships to innovate and improve the societal resilience in this everchanging and fast evolving landscape.”
As well as the election of Ermotti as Chairman of the Board for a one-year term, shareholders also approved the re-election of all other proposed members of the Board of Directors alongside all the proposed members of the Compensation Committee for a one-year term.
Additionally, Fassbind was re-appointed as Vice Chairman and as Lead Independent Director at the post-AGM meeting of the Board.
Today, shareholders also approved the proposal of the Board to pay out an ordinary dividend of CHF 5.90 per share for the 2020 financial year, which is at the same level as in 2019 and which Swiss Re says reflects its very strong capital position.