Swiss Re adopts new diversity commitment at AGM
At Swiss Re’s 2022 Annual General Meeting (AGM), held this morning, the reinsurer’s shareholders approved all proposals put forward by the Board of Directors, including the re-election of Sergio Ermotti as Chairman of the Board.
This year’s AGM also included a formal commitment from the Board of Directors to raise the female representation at Board level to at least 30% by the 2023 AGM, in line with Swiss Re’s diversity, equity and inclusion strategy.
Prior to the AGM, proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) has urged investors to vote against the re-election of Swiss Re Chair Sergio Ermotti, due to a what it sees as a lack of diversity at the board level, according to reports from the Financial Times. ISS criticised the reinsurer for failing to meet the industry benchmark of having at least 30% of its board made up by women. Currently, women comprise only 23% of Swiss Re’s board.
Swiss Re stressed that gender diversity is “of utmost importance for the composition of the board of directors.”
“At Swiss Re, we embrace and build diversity, equity and inclusion, bringing together the best of multiple generations, cultures, skillsets and thinking ,” the reinsurer said in response to ISS’s report.
“We strongly believe that Mr Ermotti’s measured approach to succession planning and assuring gender diversity is in the best interests of shareholders and Swiss Re,” the reinsurer said in response to ISS’s report.
For its part, ISS said this commitment by Swiss Re “does not provide any further information concerning the reasons for non-compliance at this meeting, and we note that the threshold has not been met in the past years either.”