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The average approval rate was still high – 95.4% in 2017 versus 96.3% in 2016 – but 27 resolutions were rejected at annual general meetings.Regarding remuneration reports for boards and executive management, 21% of advisory votes were supported by less than 80% of shareholders, up from 16% in 2016, Ethos said.The average opposition to a remuneration report stood at 13.3% in 2017, up from 11% last year.The rise in shareholder opposition came as average pay remained “more or less constant”, but varied across sectors, according to Ethos.However, average executive pay at financial companies among the 100 largest Swiss listed companies increased by 4%, despite profits decreasing by 16%.“When voting on remuneration issues, this translates into a higher level of opposition at financial companies than in other sectors,” Ethos said.At asset manager GAM, shareholders rejected the report on pay for 2016 (54% voted against, 28% abstained) and the proposals for performance-related pay for executive management for 2017 (65% against, 28% abstained).At Credit Suisse, meanwhile, shareholder pressure led to the executive management voluntarily cutting its bonus by 40%, Ethos noted.Having a retrospective vote on the 2016 bonus was key to this, it added.In Switzerland, a 2013 referendum on the so-called Minder initiative on executive pay led to considerable changes to corporate law and corporate governance, such as a requirement for companies to hold an annual, binding vote on executive compensation.However, there is some flexibility as to how they have to do this. For example, they can choose to have variable pay approved by shareholders retrospectively or prospectively. In 2017, according to Ethos’ report, the majority of companies opted for a vote on prospective pay, while 23% held a vote on pay proposed for the year gone by.The Swiss parliament has begun debating a draft revision of company law put forward by the federal government. Ethos has called for the reintroduction of a ban on prospective votes on variable pay, which was included in a preliminary draft of the law but later removed.Ethos said the revision to the law was aimed at adapting it to changes in market practice, in particular since the implementation of the Minder initiative.Last week, the UK’s asset management trade body reported that shareholders in FTSE250 companies had rebelled against pay packages more often in the 2017 AGM season than the year before. Shareholders of listed Swiss companies stepped up their opposition to resolutions at this year’s general meetings, in particular in relation to remuneration, according to Ethos, a Swiss pension fund-owned proxy voting foundation. Publishing its annual report on Swiss corporate governance, it said 14% of resolutions received less than 90% support from shareholders, up from 12% last year.There was also an increase in resolutions that received less than 80% support. In 2016 this was 4%, and in 2017 it was 7%.The figures are for the 200 companies in Switzerland’s main stock market index, SPI.
Femi Solaja with agency reportFormer World Footballer of the Year and Argentina Captain, Lionel Messi, has revealed how the 2-1 victory the Albeceleste recorded against Nigeria in their last Group D match of the 2018 World Cup in Russia remains one of his most important matches with the national team.The FC Barcelona captain, who is yet to win any silverware with his country despite a trophy-laden chest with the LaLiga giants. Messi only have trophies and medals from junior competitions in Argentina colours. In an interview with Fox Sports yesterday ahead of the Copa America tournament, Messi revealed that if Argentina had lost and was eliminated by Eagles in that decisive match in St Petersburg, critics were already waiting for them back home.He insisted that such humiliation would have pushed many players of his generation to quit the Argentine senior national team.Nigeria was on the verge of qualification for the next round after Victor Moses’ penalty cancelled out Lionel Messi’s early strike to level score with Nigeria having the advantage to pick the runner up ticket to the knock out phase. But Rojo’s late strike changed the permutation and the South American advanced to play cup eventual winners, France in the second round which they lost.“When we lost and crashed out of the tournament, we knew our time was up because our preparation and focus towards the tournament was not too impressive. It would have been very humiliating if Nigeria had eliminated us at the group stage. “The World Cup in Russia was a complicated period for us. But people knew we were not candidates to win. Today is different, I see a young and excited group ready for success. “When we qualified against Nigeria in the World Cup everyone who was mocking us was silent, they wanted us to be humiliated. If we were knocked out in the groups they would have killed us all,” he disclosed.Messi also spoke about other issues and his main rival Cristiano Ronaldo whom he said he missed greatly since he left Real Madrid for Juventus last season. “There is no battle but a healthy one. Cristiano is a great player and of course he motivates me to be even better.”“Not only La Liga is missing Cristiano, I do also. He made Real Madrid more important.”Leo also talked for how much longer does he intend to play and if he considers becoming a coach once retired:“Retiring? The day I do not enjoy football anymore, I will quit.”“I want to finish my career having won something with the national team.”“When I started to play football my dream was always to reach the national team of Argentina.”“I do not see myself as a coach. Pep was a unique coach for me. I repeat, I do not see myself as a coach but if I were to become one, it would be with youth players.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram