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Credit Suisse defeats pension funds at AGM

SWITZERLAND – A corporate governance motion brought by a group representing Swiss pension funds has been defeated at Credit Suisse Group’s annual general meeting.

The Ethos group, which represents 83 schemes, had objected to the re-election of certain board members – including Nestlé chief Peter Brabeck. Ethos was earlier this month involved in a bitter spat with Nestle over Brabeck’s appointment to the dual role of chairman and chief executive.

Before the vote today, Credit Suisse chairman Walter Kielholz had dismissed Ethos’ charges about the amount of time the board members could spend.

He told the AGM: “I am unable to accept the criticism that the members up for re-election and the board of directors as a whole have not made themselves sufficiently available.”

He argued that Brabeck, along with Thomas Bechtler, Robert Benmosche and Ernst Tanner had discharged their duties professionally and been available throughout the year.

He added: “I consider myself fortunate to be able to preside over such a committed and critically minded body of people.”

Kielholz he said the firm takes corporate governance “very seriously”.

He said the group is rated among “the very best in various rankings of corporate governance” - including one conducted by the Ethos. He said the bank ranked among the top five Swiss listed companies in the Ethos ranking.

Ethos chief Dominique Biedermann was not available for comment.

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