Basel, At today's Annual General Meeting, the shareholders of Bâloise Holding Ltd voted in favour of all the proposals on the agenda put forward by the Board of Directors, thus approving an attractive and unchanged dividend of CHF 5.00 per share. Marie-Noëlle Venturi - Zen-Ruffinen and Hugo Lasat were elected as new members of the Board of Directors. Eveline Saupper departed from the Board of Directors after not standing for re-election. It was also the last Annual General Meeting of the former Group CEO Martin Strobel.
The Baloise Annual General Meeting approved the Company's 2015 annual report and separate and consolidated annual financial statements, and formally approved the actions of the members of the Board of Directors and management team.
Two new members of the Board of Directors were elected: Professor Marie-Noëlle Venturi-Zen-Ruffinen and Hugo Lasat. Eveline Saupper did not stand for re-election. All other members of the Board of Directors were re-elected for a term of one year, and Andreas Burckhardt was confirmed as Chairman of the Board of Directors for a term of one year.
The Annual General Meeting elected the following people to the Remuneration Committee: Georges-Antoine de Boccard, Karin Keller-Sutter, Thomas Pleines and Marie-Noëlle Venturi - Zen-Ruffinen. It also re-elected Christophe Sarasin as independent proxy. Ernst & Young AG, Basel, was elected as the new statutory auditor.
Andreas Burckhardt, Chairman of the Board of Directors, looked back on a financial year that was eventful but successful from a business perspective. The healthy profit for the period of CHF 512.1 million was slightly higher than expected. Reporting its second-best combined ratio of 93.3 per cent net, the non-life business achieved another year-on-year improvement in profitability and increased its business volume by 3.3 per cent in local currency terms. The share buy-back programme announced last year is on course, with more than 50 per cent of the announced volume of up to one million shares having already been repurchased. The announcement last May that Martin Strobel was stepping down as Group CEO heralded the end of an era. Andreas Burckhardt praised the work of the departing Group CEO: "He always fully identified with Baloise. His track record is undisputed and his achievements have provided us with strong foundations for tackling the challenges of the future." The Belgian Gert De Winter succeeded him on 1 January 2016. He has been with the Company for more than ten years and was previously CEO of Baloise Insurance in Belgium. "Gert De Winter is the ideal person with whom to start a new chapter in Baloise's success," said Andreas Burckhardt.
The full speech in German by Andreas Burckhardt, Chairman of the Board of Directors, can be downloaded from www.baloise.com and can be watched as a video stream from 2 May 2016 at https://www.youtube.com/BaloiseGroup.