Shareholders’ Participation Rights
In exercising voting rights, no shareholder can collect more than 10% of the total share capital directly or indirectly in respect of his own shares and those he represents. Legal entities and partnerships which are connected through capital, voting rights, uniform management or in any other way, as well as individuals or legal entities and partnerships which act in concert by virtue of agreement, as a syndicate or in any other way, are deemed to be a single person. Any amendment to or revocation of restrictionson voting rights must be approved by at least two thirds of the voting shares represented at the General Meeting of Shareholders and an absolute majority of the share par value represented. The Board of Directors can permit exceptions to this limit on the basis of its discretionary powers; during the year under review, no such exceptions were granted.
The Articles of Association stipulate that a shareholder may be represented by a legal representative, or, if a written power of attorney exists, by another shareholder entitled to vote, by a management representative, by an independent voting representative or by a representative of deposited shares.
In addition to the resolutions provided for by law, a qualified majority (corresponding to at least two thirds of the voting shares represented and an absolute majority of the share par value represented) is required to:
– change provisions concerning restrictions on voting rights
– dissolve the company (liquidation)
– dismiss more than one third of the members of the Board of Directors
– change these provisions of the Articles of Association
The rules set out in the Articles of Association for convening a General Meeting of Shareholders and drawing up the agenda comply with the stipulations of the law. Shareholders who represent at least 0.25% of the share capital can submit a written request within a time limit published in advance by Swiss Life Holding for the inclusion on the agenda of an item for discussion, together with the relevant motions. The written application must be accompanied by a blocking certificate issued by a bank to confirm that the shares are deposited with it until after the General Meeting of Shareholders is held.
Entries can be made in the share register up to the day before the General Meeting of Shareholders. In all cases, however, the company reserves the right to adhere to the legal maximum period of 20 days for recognition of entries in the share register in accordance with Art. 685g of the Swiss Code of Obligations. For administrative reasons (postal delivery times), the deadline for registering to participate in the General Meeting of Shareholders is usually seven calendar days before the event takes place.
Based on a corresponding authorisation in the Articles of Association, the presiding officer at Swiss Life Holding’s General Meeting of Shareholders generally requests that votes be taken electronically. Swiss Life Holding uses a certified electronic voting system which permits balloting with remote-controlled handsets and records the exact number of voting shares represented.