Compensation Committee activities
The Compensation Committee operates as the Group’s global compensation committee and oversees the compensation system applied at all entities of the Swiss Re Group.
The Compensation Committee has an annual agenda to ensure that important reviews take place at the appropriate times throughout the year. The Compensation Committee also commits time to executive sessions and conducts periodic self-assessments to ensure its continued high level of effectiveness. It held six meetings during 2018 and provided an update to the Board of Directors on topics discussed, decisions made and items for approval after each of these meetings. In addition, five items were resolved by circular resolution. A summary of the topics dealt with by the Compensation Committee during the year is shown below.
High-level overview of topics discussed
Variable compensation for the Group
At Swiss Re, the compensation cycle begins in December and runs through to April of the following year. The Compensation Committee oversees each stage of the process, starting with deciding on the variable compensation pool for the prior performance year, reviewing this decision, and setting targets for the upcoming year.
Outlined below is an overview of the main topics discussed during 2018:
Items relating to the past performance cycle Meeting
- Performance assessment process and proposal of the variable compensation pool January and February
- Approval of performance factors for deferred compensation awards February and April
- Review of the decisions made during the prior compensation cycle April and June
Items relating to the upcoming performance cycle
- Review and recommendation of the LPP pool for the upcoming year January and February
- Setting of the performance targets for variable compensation for the upcoming year February
Compensation and performance of the Group EC
The review of the Group EC compensation follows the same cycle as that for the Group. Again, the Compensation Committee is fully involved through all stages of the process, and all decisions are taken by the Compensation Committee and the Board of Directors.
- Performance assessment of the prior year January and February
- Approval of individual compensation proposals for the Group EC1 February
- Review and confirm reference companies for Group EC compensation benchmarking April
- Analysis of Group EC members’ compensation relative to external peers June
Compensation of the Board of Directors
The compensation of the Board of Directors is reviewed annually, and the Compensation Committee formulates proposals for the approval of the Board of Directors accordingly2.
- Fees of the Board of Directors for the following compensation period April
- Review and update of the Entity Board Compensation Guidelines June
- Analysis of compensation practices for non-executive directors relative to the market September
Compensation principles and plans
- Review and update of the API plan rules April
- Review of the ISP plan rules3 April
- Annual benefits review June
- Review and confirm appropriateness of the LPP in the current market context June, September and December
- Review and update of the GSPP plan rules December
- Review and update of the VAI and LPP plan rules December
Compliance and regulatory
The Compensation Committee spends time reviewing materials relating to regulatory or compliance requirements. In addition, the mandate of its advisors is reviewed on an ongoing basis.
- Review and endorsement of the Compensation Report December, January and February
- Compliance and regulatory developments All meetings
- Review of the role and mandate of external advisors September and December
1 Within the maximum aggregate amount of compensation approved by the AGM and the additional amount available for changes in the Group EC after the AGM as per the Articles of Association respectively.
2 Within the maximum aggregate amount of compensation approved by the AGM.
3 The ISP has been discontinued from 2019.