topics
tools
Expatica countries
Index Last Var.(%)
BEL 20 3083.51 0.32
DAX 9605.08 0.17
IBEX 30 10058.5 -1.04
CAC 40 4387.61 -0.20
FTSE 100 6806.86 -0.05
AEX 397.5 -0.20
DJIA 16272.65 0.46
Nasdaq 4318.933 0.63
FTSE MIB 20298.33 -0.11
TSX Composite 14214.35 0.18
ASX 5415.4 -0.10
Hang seng 22836.96 0.04
Straits Times 3110.78 0.45
ISEQ 20 836.3 0.23
EUR / USD 1.37976 0.67
EUR / GBP 0.82571 0.59
USD / GBP 0.598544 -0.10
Gold 1329.6 -0.13
Oil 108.9 -0.76
Silver 21.28 0.08
You are here: Home News Swiss News Swiss vote on whether to rein in executive pay
Enlarge font Decrease font Text size


03/03/2013Swiss vote on whether to rein in executive pay

The Swiss headed to the polls Sunday morning for a referendum on whether to rein in executive pay, and force business leaders to give up their departure compensation known as golden parachutes.

In Zurich, polling stations opened at 6:00 am (0500 GMT), in Bern at 8:00 am, while voters in Geneva had to wait until 10:00 am to cast their ballots.

Most Swiss, who are called to the polls for referenda several times a year as part of the country's direct democratic system, meanwhile vote in advance by mail.

Known as the Minder Initiative, after its sponsor businessman Thomas Minder, the resolution results from a petition that mustered the support of 100,000 voters, enough to force a vote.

While Switzerland has avoided the level of economic crisis seen in the European Union, which surrounds the Alpine nation, public anger has risen over what is deemed abusive levels of pay and bonuses for top bosses, and polls show the initiative will likely pass the popular vote.

Among those in the spotlight have been Daniel Vasella, former head of pharmaceuticals giant Novartis, who made 15 million Swiss francs (12 million euros, $16 million) in 2011.

Adding fuel to the fire was Vasella's planned 72 million Swiss franc golden parachute, to be paid out over six years, provided he did not go to work for the competition after stepping down this February.

The deal sparked uproar when details were leaked recently, and despite Novartis's subsequent announcement that Vasella, at the helm since 1996, would forgo the sum, he has remained the unwilling poster boy for the referendum campaigners.

The text being voted on Sunday calls for "setting limits for stock exchange-listed companies so that they cannot give their executives excessive compensation."

It would limit the mandate of board members to one year, and would ban certain kinds of compensation, including the so-called golden handshakes or golden parachutes given to executives when they leave a company.

In addition, if the bill passes into law, compensation packages to board members and the company leadership will need to be approved by the general assembly of shareholders.

Anyone within the listed companies affected who does not follow the rules could face up to three years behind bars and fines amounting to up to six years of their salary, according to the text.

The Swiss government and the upper house of parliament have come out against the initiative, cautioning that some large companies might decide to move their headquarters out of the country.



© 2013 AFP


0 reactions to this article

0 reactions to this article

Discussion Forums

Community Noticeboard Switzerland

Canadians in Switzerland

Community Noticeboard Switzerland

News! Finally! English dentist in Basel

Community Noticeboard Switzerland

Want to meet new people?

Community Noticeboard Switzerland

we produce High Quality passports, Drivers License, ID cards

Student forum Switzerland

Survey

participate in the forums

 
 
 
 
 
Inside Expatica
Residence and work permits in Switzerland

Residence and work permits in Switzerland

How to apply for a residency or work permit in Switzerland for you and your family.

How to rent and buy a house in Switzerland

How to rent and buy a house in Switzerland

Information about renting property and obtaining a mortgage in Switzerland.

Switzerland's healthcare system

Switzerland's healthcare system

Information about the Swiss healthcare system, health insurance, pharmacies and emergency numbers.

Banking in Switzerland

Banking in Switzerland

Explaining Swiss currency, banknotes, credit cards and bureaux de change.