Swiss Re held its 143rd Annual General Meeting at the Hallenstadion in Zurich today, April 20. A total of 1,144 shareholders attended the event, representing 43.49 percent of Swiss Re’s voting share capital.
They accepted all of the motions brought by the Board of Directors, notably approving the company’s financial statements for 2006, “a year in which Swiss Re delivered record earnings with net income after tax of CHF 4.6 billion ($3.8 billion),” the announcement said.
Shareholders also approved the 2006 annual report, a 36 percent dividend increase to CHF 3.40 ($2.81) per share, the changes to Swiss Re’s capital structure and its share buy-back program. Hans Ulrich Maerki was elected to the Board of Directors for the first time while Raymond Breu and John F. Smith, Jr. were re-elected.
Concerning the changes in the Company’s capital structure and the buy-back program, Swiss Re explained that on March 6 March 2007 it had “re-purchased 16.7 million shares from General Electric Company (GE), or approximately 50 percent of the stake which GE held in Swiss Re as a result of the GE Insurance Solutions acquisition. These shares will be used as underlying for mandatory convertible bonds.
“This allowed the shareholders at the AGM to approve the reduction in ordinary share capital by canceling 4.5 million shares (thereby reducing the number of Swiss Re registered shares from 374.5 million to 370 million) as well as canceling and reducing conditional capital.” Shareholders also authorized the Board of Directors to buy back Swiss Re shares amounting in total to CHF 4.2 billion ($3.475 billion) within a three-year period.
Maerki was elected as a new non-executive, independent member of Swiss Re’s Board of Directors for a four-year term of office. He is the current Chairman of IBM Europe, Middle East and Africa and is also a member of the boards of ABB, Mettler-Toledo International and of the Menuhin Festival Gstaad.
Breu was re-elected for a further four years, while Smith, Jr. was re-elected for a one-year term, until the official retirement age for Board members.
Swiss Re also noted that “in application of the 2005 GEIS purchase agreement, Dennis D. Dammerman has decided to resign from the Board of Directors, as GE has sold its shares in Swiss Re.” The biographies of all directors are available on the Swiss Re web site, www.swissre.com.
Finally the bulletin noted that Swiss Re has been awarded this year’s “Civilian Service Prize to Dr. Daniel Heini and Dr. Claude Heini for the “Hunger Project Switzerland” (www.hungerprojekt.ch). With this prize Swiss Re annually honors individuals who, in addition to their daily work, engage in “good-citizenship” activities, upholding the civic service principle. This year’s winners earned the prize for their efforts towards eradicating chronic hunger in developing countries.”
Was this article valuable?
Here are more articles you may enjoy.