As was the case last year, Helvetia Holding shareholders participating in the 25th Ordinary Shareholders' Meeting were only able to exercise their rights via the independent proxy due to the measures in place to combat the spread of COVID-19. 9,205 shareholders submitted instructions, meaning that 34,641,510 of the 53,025,685 voting shares were represented, equating to 65.3 percent of the share capital. The Shareholders' Meeting approved the management report, the financial statements and the consolidated financial statements for 2020. It also granted discharge to the Board of Directors and Group Executive Management for their activities during financial year 2020.
New helvetia 20.25 strategy presented to shareholders
In a video message ahead of the Shareholders' Meeting, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors Doris Russi Schurter briefed shareholders on helvetia 20.25, the new strategy through which Helvetia aims to become the best partner for financial security and to set standards in terms of customer convenience and customer access. Four strategic priorities have been set for the strategy's implementation: customer convenience, a right offering, profitable growth in the core business and the utilisation of new opportunities. "Our new strategy builds on one of our strengths – broad diversification – and thus ensures a long-term increase in Helvetia's success for investors, customers, employees and all other stakeholders", explains Doris Russi Schurter.
Successful, value-enhancing acquisition of Caser in Spain
Philipp Gmür, Group CEO of Helvetia, also addressed shareholders in a video message ahead of the Shareholders' Meeting. Here, he summarized the main points from the 2020 financial statements. Last year, Helvetia benefited from its acquisition of Spanish insurance company Caser, as Philipp Gmür explained: "This healthy company brings us additional contribution income of over 700 million for the second half of 2020 and a contribution to profit of over 50 million Swiss francs. Caser has enabled us to boost the Helvetia Group's growth and profit potential substantially."
All members of the Board of Directors re-elected
Doris Russi Schurter was confirmed by shareholders as a member and Chairwoman of the Board of Directors for another one-year term of office. The Shareholders' Meeting also re-elected all nine of the other existing members of the Board of Directors to serve a one-year term of office. Shareholders filled the positions on the Nomination and Compensation Committee by appointing existing members Jean-René Fournier, Gabriela Maria Payer, Andreas von Planta and Regula Wallimann.
As proposed by the Board of Directors, the Shareholders' Meeting resolved to distribute an unchanged dividend of CHF 5.00 per share. "Helvetia pursues a sustained, long-term dividend policy. To our shareholders too, we wish to be a reliable partner", said Doris Russi Schurter, commenting on the dividend.
Furthermore, shareholders approved the total amounts of fixed remuneration for the members of the Board of Directors and the fixed and variable compensation for Group Executive Management. Finally, the Shareholders' Meeting confirmed Schmuki Bachmann, Attorneys-at-Law, St.Gallen, as independent proxy and re-elected KPMG AG, Zurich, as auditor.