Exercise of voting rights
The Pension Fund fulfills its obligations as a shareholder and influences corporate management by exercising the voting rights from its equity investments.
To ensure that voting rights are exercised uniformly across all companies in line with the sustainability strategy and climate strategy, the criteria and principles to be applied when exercising voting rights are defined in advance. The Pension Fund exercises its voting rights in all Swiss firms listed either in Switzerland or abroad, and therefore complies with the legal requirements (Verordnung gegen übermässige Vergütungen bei börsenkotierten Aktiengesellschaften – Ordinance against Excessive Remuneration with Respect to Listed Stock Corporations). In addition to ensuring compliance with the legal requirements, voting rights are also exercised by larger foreign companies, which can significantly increase the effectiveness of voting rights. The established voting policy is reviewed at least once a year and assesses whether to expand voting right activities to additional companies and/or markets on an ongoing basis. The individual voting instructions for each company and the summarized version of the voting rights criteria are published as part of transparent communication with the insured. Further information about the active ownership activities can also be found in the sustainability report.
The Pension Fund believes that active dialogue with companies is an important part of a sustainable investment strategy. The Pension Fund engages in active dialogue to address topics that are not or not to a sufficient extent dealt with during an annual general meeting and pursues these topics on a long-term basis outside of the annual general meeting. Rather than excluding companies, engagement enables solutions to be sought in collaboration with the companies and promotes best practice standards.
The Pension Fund pursues a structured, long-term engagement strategy with the companies it invests in. The Pension Fund works with Federated Hermes, an external engagement specialist, to enhance the effectiveness and influence of its engagement. On behalf of and in line with the objectives of the Pension Fund and other investors, Federated Hermes maintains a structured dialogue with companies on environmental, social, and governance topics. The dialogue on behalf of several investors increases the influence on the company and consequently the effectiveness of the engagement. The Pension Fund manages the collaboration with Federated Hermes and is actively involved in formulating the strategy. Further information on Federated Hermes and the annual report on our engagement activities can be found at the adjacent link.