mast image

Special Report

Impact investing

Sections

Proxy voting group Ethos nominates new presidents as Biedermann exits

Related Categories

Dominique Biedermann, long-term president of the Swiss proxy voting service Ethos, will not stand for re-election at upcoming general meetings of the company and the Ethos foundation.

In a statement Ethos – which is owned by Swiss pension funds – said the meetings on 14 June were “an important milestone in Ethos’ history”. 

“Dominique Biedermann, the last remaining Ethos founding member, will not stand for re-election after 21 years of continuous engagement in favour of Ethos’ development,” it said.  

Biedermann will step down as president of Ethos Foundation and Ethos Services. The foundation was established by several pension funds in 1997 to represent them at shareholder meetings of listed Swiss companies. In 2000 it created Ethos Services to take over management and consulting services in socially responsible investment and active ownership. 

<

Ethos said Biedermann had decided the time was right to hand over the organisation to “the next generation”. 

His role had been criticised because his wife Yola is head of Ethos’ corporate governance department. The perceived “shortcomings in corporate governance” led the pension fund for the Swiss postal service to announce it would end its membership as per year-end 2018.

In a statement issued earlier this year, the €15bn Pensionskasse Post said it might revise this decision if Ethos made changes to its management structure prior to the general assembly.

Françoise Bruderer Thom, managing director of Pensionskasse Post, told IPE: “As Mr Biedermann will no longer stand for presidency either of the Ethos Foundation or Ethos Service, his conflicts of interest are resolved, which we welcome.”

However, the pension fund would carefully review the proposals for the general assembly and then decide on how it would vote, as well as its further relationship with Ethos, she added.

The two Ethos boards have decided to appoint different presidents, one for Ethos Foundation and one for Ethos Services.

To replace Biedermann as chairman of Ethos Foundation, the members have put forward former social democrat MP Rudolf Rechsteiner, who is an expert on renewable energy and president of the charity Swissaid.

Beth Krasna, an engineer at the university ETH Zurich and an expert in microfinance and corporate governance, has been proposed for election as president of Ethos Service.

Swiss pensions journalist and commentator Peter Wirth suggested Rechsteiner could be a controversial candidate. 

“This proposal adds a political flavour which is problematic and which not all members will want to stomach,” he wrote in a recent newsletter. 

Related images

  • Geneva, Switzerland

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

IPE QUEST

Your first step in manager selection...

IPE Quest is a manager search facility that connects institutional investors and asset managers.

  • QN-2548

    Asset class: Fixed Income, Emerging Market Debt Hard Currency (Active).
    Asset region: Emerging Markets.
    Size: CHF 300-400m.
    Closing date: 2019-07-30.

  • QN-2549

    Asset class: Fixed Income, Emerging Market Debt Hard Currency (Passive or Passive Enhanced).
    Asset region: Emerging Markets.
    Size: CHF 300-700m.
    Closing date: 2019-07-30.

  • QN-2550

    Asset class: Fixed Income, Emerging Market Debt Local Currency (Active).
    Asset region: Emerging Markets.
    Size: CHF 250-350m.
    Closing date: 2019-07-31.

  • QN-2551

    Asset class: Fixed Income, Emerging Market Debt Local Currency (Passive or Passive Enhanced).
    Asset region: Emerging Markets.
    Size: CHF 250-350m.
    Closing date: 2019-07-31.

  • QN-2552

    Asset class: Fixed Income, High Yield (Active).
    Asset region: High Yield (US).
    Size: CHF 500-600m.
    Closing date: 2019-07-29.

  • QN-2553

    Asset class: Fixed Income, High Yield (Passive or Passive Enhanced).
    Asset region: High Yield (US).
    Size: CHF 500-1'100m.
    Closing date: 2019-07-29.

  • QN-2554

    Asset class: Global Real Estate (Equity, unlisted Funds).
    Asset region: World (ex-Switzerland).
    Size: CHF 200 mn (potential for further growth).
    Closing date: 2019-08-07.

  • QN-2555

    Asset class: Real Estate.
    Asset region: European.
    Size: EUR 50 - 100 million.
    Closing date: 2019-07-22.

  • QN-2556

    Asset class: FX Hedging.
    Asset region: Global.
    Size: Mandate size of CHF 1.5 bn.
    Closing date: 2019-08-09.

  • QN-2557

    Asset class: All/large Cap Equities.
    Asset region: China A-shares.
    Size: Unit linked platform (0m USD in initial investment).
    Closing date: 2019-08-01.

Begin Your Search Here
<