Swiss Re, the world’s second largest reinsurer, held its 139th annual shareholders meeting yesterday, and, as expected, shareholders approved last year’s SwF 91 million ($69.3 million) net loss, and the reduction of its dividend payment to 1 Swiss Franc, about 76 cents, per share a total of SwF 310.4 million ($236.35 million), which will be taken from its reserves.
The company’s announcement noted, however, that “Premium volume rose by 15% in the reporting period to CHF 29.1 [$22.157 billion], due in large part to considerable improvements in the operational performance of core business activities. The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Peter Forstmoser, emphasised that Swiss Re’s business is benefiting from favourable conditions in the reinsurance industry.”
Shareholders also elected Raymund Breu and John F. Smith Jr. to the Swiss Re Board of Directors. Breu is chief financial officer at Novartis and a member of its executive committee. Smith is former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of General Motors Corporation. Board member Paulo Lemann’s term of office was extended for another four years.
Shareholders also approved a proposal from the Board of Directors to lower the threshold used to determine the inclusion of shareholder concerns as agenda items from SwF 1 million to SwF 100,000, reflecting “the partial repayment in 2001 of the nominal value, which reduced shares to one-fifth of their prior nominal value.”
Swiss Re also announced that this year’s “Milizpreis” will be awarded to Claudine Bolay Zgraggen and Enrique Steiger, who will both receive 100 Swiss Re shares. “Claudine Bolay Zgraggen is president of ‘Welt ohne Minen’ and of the ‘Mütterhilfe’ association. As a doctor, Enrique Steiger has participated in humanitarian missions to war zones and crisis-stricken regions and is involved in a project designed to protect wounded and needy civilians in areas of conflict,” said the announcement.
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