Swiss Re shareholders approve special dividend

Swiss Re shareholders approve an increased regular dividend of CHF 3.5 as well as the additional special dividend of CHF 4 per share

April 11, 2013 11:49 IST | India Infoline News Service
Swiss Re Ltd’s shareholders approved all the Board of Directors' proposals at its Annual General Meeting held on Wednesday in Zurich. This included the increase in regular dividend to CHF 3.5 per share (from CHF 3 in 2012) as well as an additional special dividend of CHF 4 per share. Together, this represents a return of USD 2.8 billion of capital to shareholders and is a reflection of Swiss Re’s strong capital position. At the Annual General Meeting, shareholders elected Mary Francis to the Board of Directors for a three-year term of office, and re-elected current Board members Walter B. Kielholz, Malcolm D. Knight, Carlos E. Represas and Jean-Pierre Roth for another term. The shareholders also approved the proposed changes to the capital structure.

Over 1,523 shareholders participated in this year's Annual General Meeting. Of the total voting shares, 70.6% were represented and the company's annual and consolidated financial statements for 2012 were approved. In addition, in a consultative vote, the shareholders approved the 2012 Compensation Report with 89.79% and discharged all members of the Board of Directors. In addition, the proposed changes to Swiss Re Ltd’s conditional and authorised capital were approved.

Speaking at the meeting, Swiss Re’s Chairman Walter B. Kielholz provided an outlook for 2013, focusing particularly on the expected changes in the regulatory environment: “In 2013, we are expecting a decision if Swiss Re will be seen by international regulatory bodies as a global systemically relevant insurer. As one of the leading companies in the re/insurance industry we do play an important role – not only as part of the financial system but as a vital part of the economy. However, our core business is neither a source nor an amplifier of systemic risk. On the contrary, the insurance industry and in particular the reinsurance industry stabilizes the system and serves as a shock absorber. Particularly during this year's celebration of our 150 year anniversary, we are not only looking back at a long tradition as one of the leading global reinsurers. We will also continue to be a key innovator in our industry."

Swiss Re's Group CEO Michel M. Liès commented the excellent 2012 results and said they were further proof that the new company structure and strategy is working successfully. He added that despite the company's 150 years of existence, many opportunities still lie ahead: "We expect 20% to 25% of our premium income to come from high-growth markets by 2015, significantly higher than the 15% we generate currently." He also confirmed that the company remains well on track to reach its 2011-2015 financial targets.

Shareholders elected Mary Francis as a new non-executive, independent member to the Board of Directors for a term of three years. As a former Director General of the Association of British Insurers, she will add to the already deep understanding of the insurance industry at Swiss Re's Board of Directors.
Current Board Members Walter B. Kielholz, Malcolm D. Knight, Carlos E. Represas and

Jean-Pierre Roth were re-elected to the Board of Directors by shareholders. They will serve on the Board for another term.

At the constituent meeting held after the AGM, the Board of Directors elected Walter B. Kielholz as the Chairman of the Board of Directors and Mathis Cabiallavetta and Renato Fassbind as Vice-Chairmen. Mary Francis was elected as member of the Finance and Risk Committee.

In addition, shareholders re-elected PricewaterhouseCoopers Ltd, Zurich, as auditor for another term of office of one year.

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