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Compensation of the board of directors and the executive board
The provisions applicable to voting at the general meeting of shareholders regarding the compensation of the members of the Board of Directors and the Executive Board are set out in article 18c of the articles of incorporation, and those regarding any additional amounts in article 18b thereof. The Articles of Association are on our homepage under Corporate Governance (www.orellfuessli.com/en/investors).
Based on the Board of Director’s proposal, the Annual General Meeting approves the maximum compensation of the Board of Directors for the period until the next Annual General Meeting as well as the maximum compensation of the Executive Board for the next year.
The provisions applicable to variable compensation and share allocations are set out in article 18d + e of the articles of incorporation (www.orellfuessli.com/en/investors).
The compensation of the Board of Directors is made up entirely of a fixed component, whereas the Executive Board’s compensation comprises a fixed and a variable component. External specialists are consulted only in the case of a fundamental redesign of the compensation structure. At group level, compensation is determined for new hires or promotions based on function-specific benchmarks.
The Board of Directors can allocate entitlements for employee shares to members of the Group Management as part of an equity participation plan. If they remain with the company for the duration of the vesting period, the participants in the plan are entitled to receive one employee share per entitlement. If the employee leaves the firm before the end of the vesting period, any entitlement for employee shares is usually extinguished.
The members of the Group Management can elect, on a voluntary basis, to receive a portion of their annual bonus in the form of restricted shares at a preferential price set by the Board of Directors as part of the equity bonus plan. The Board of Directors determines each year the portion of the bonus that can be awarded in shares and the duration of the vesting period. The voting rights and dividend rights are transferred with the transfer of the shares to the beneficiary.
Apart from the contributions to the pension fund, which are limited to a maximum of CHF 853,200 (maximum insured salary) by the Occupational Pensions Act (OPA/BVG), the Orell Füssli Group does not provide any special old-age benefit schemes.
The fixed compensation of the Executive Board and the Chairman of the Board of Directors includes individually agreed additional benefits, such as the provision of a company vehicle at no charge or the reimbursement of the cost of a rail season ticket (GA).
No severance payments (‘golden parachutes’) have been agreed with any of the members of the Board of Directors and the Executive Board. The members of the Executive Board do not have long-duration contracts (maximum period of notice of nine months).
Compensation of the Board of Directors
The Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors reviews annually the regulations applicable to the determination of the compensation of the Board of Directors. The Compensation Committee proposes to the Board of Directors any changes it deems necessary. The Board of Directors approves the compensation, which will take effect as of the subsequent term of office. Final approval of the compensation for the subsequent year is given only after the Annual General Meeting gives its approval. Board members receive a fixed amount of compensation.
Compensation of the Executive Board
Final approval of the amount of the fixed and variable components of the compensation for the subsequent financial year is given by the Annual General Meeting. Within this range, the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors reviews the fixed compensation as proposed by the CEO. The amount of the fixed compensation is defined according to the function, duties, qualifications, experience and the market environment. The CEO (when it concerns his own compensation) and the members of the Executive Board are not present during the discussions to determine the compensation. The Compensation Committee adjusts the compensation, where necessary, and passes on its recommendation to the attention of the Board of Directors. The Board makes the final decision and approves the fixed compensation component.
The variable component of the Executive Board’s compensation is based on the bonus regulations as approved by the Board of Directors. The maximum value (for achieving or overachieving all of the targets) of the variable component is determined individually and amounts to between 45 percent and 75 percent of the basic salary. It is calculated according to a predefined formula based on the EBIT as well as the achievement of agreed annual goals (weightings: EBIT 60 percent and individual goals 40 percent). The Executive Board members are assessed against the group’s results in addition to the EBIT. The individually determined goals, which have a three- to five-year horizon, comprise quantitative and qualitative components; such goals must also be specific, measurable, challenging, relevant and time-certain. They may concern, for example, the implementation of a project, adherence to a project budget or the further development of expertise. With the involvement of the Executive Board members, the CEO elaborates the goals of the individuals, the measurement criteria and the range of values. Lastly, he agrees on the proposed goals with the Chairman of the Board of Directors. After their approval by the Chairman of the Board of Directors, the proposed goals are reviewed by the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors. The Compensation Committee adjusts them, if necessary, and passes on its recommendation to the attention of the Board of Directors. The Board then makes the final decision and approves the goals. The bonus regulations also provide for individual cash bonus payments to be made at the discretion of the Board of Directors to employees of the Orell Füssli Group as a reward for exceptional performance.