Basel, The Annual General Meeting voted in favour of all items on the agenda by a clear majority. It approved a dividend of CHF 4.50 per share. The high level of this dividend has been maintained for the past six years. Karin Keller-Sutter was elected as a new member of the Board of Directors and replaces the outgoing member Hansjörg Frei.
The attractive dividend puts Baloise among the most shareholder-friendly publicly listed companies in Switzerland. The Annual General Meeting approved the Annual Report, the annual financial statements and the 2012 consolidated financial statements. It granted discharge to the members of the Board of Directors and the executive officers. Georg F. Krayer, Michael Becker and Werner Kummer were confirmed as members of the Board of Directors for a further three years.
Karin Keller-Sutter was elected to the Board of Directors in place of the outgoing member Hansjörg Frei. Mrs Keller-Sutter was born in 1963 and holds a degree in translation and conference interpreting. From July 2000 to May 2012 she was a member of St. Gallen's cantonal parliament and has represented the canton on the Swiss Council of States since December 2011. In addition to the political functions that she performs, Karin Keller-Sutter sits on the boards of directors at, among others, the NZZ media group and Pensimo Fondsleitung AG. She is also an executive director of the Swiss Retail Federation, whose management board she is expected to chair as of June 2013.
The Board of Directors is now composed of the following:
- Andreas Burckhardt, Chairman
- Georg F. Krayer, Vice-Chairman
- Michael Becker
- Andreas Beerli
- Georges-Antoine de Boccard
- Karin Keller-Sutter
- Werner Kummer
- Thomas Pleines
- Eveline Saupper
PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, Basel, was reappointed as the statutory and Group auditor for one year.
Safe, reliable and profitable for the past 150 years
In the financial year 2012, Baloise returned to its usual strength. Profit of CHF 437 million, a low combined ratio (net) of 94.1 per cent and an excellent solvency ratio of 277 per cent are clear confirmation of this.
"We are approaching the challenges that lie ahead with a sense of purpose and optimism. We are drawing on our 150-year track record as a Swiss institution to ensure that we continue to add value – in a safe, reliable and profitable way." This was how Andreas Burckhardt, Chairman of the Board of Directors, commented on the steady course set by Baloise. However, in order to continue on this course, overarching factors, such as people's increasing longevity and state regulation, need to be approached with the right measures. This is the only way that the insurance sector can continue to pursue targeted business development.