Conflicts of interest
The members of the Board of Directors are also subject to procedures to avoid any action, position or interest that conflicts with an interest of Swiss Re Ltd or the Swiss Re Group or gives the appearance of a conflict. Each member must disclose any conflict of interest relating to a matter to be discussed at a meeting, as soon as the member becomes aware of the conflict, to the Chairman. The respective member must not participate in the discussion and decision-making involving the interest at stake. The Chairman informs the Board of Directors of the existence of the conflict and it is reflected in the meeting minutes. Each member must disclose any conflict of interest generally arising to the Group Chief Legal Officer (Group CLO), or in his absence to the Group Chief Compliance Officer (Group CCO), in line with the standards and procedures set forth by the Personal Conflicts of Interest Instructions. The Group CLO (or in his absence the Group CCO) ensures that such a reported conflict of interest is dealt with according to these standards and procedures.
Information about managerial positions and significant business connections of non-executive directors
Walter B. Kielholz, Chairman of the Board of Directors since 1 May 2009, was Swiss Re’s CEO from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2002. In line with Swiss Re’s independence criteria, Walter B. Kielholz, being a full-time Chairman, is not considered independent. No other director has ever held a management position within the Group. None of the members of the Board of Directors has any significant business connections with Swiss Re Ltd or any of the Group companies.
Other mandates, activities and functions
In line with Swiss Re Ltd’s Articles of Association, the members of the Board of Directors may not hold more than ten additional mandates, of which no more than four additional mandates with listed companies. Mandates (i) in companies which are controlled by Swiss Re Ltd or which control Swiss Re Ltd, (ii) mandates held at the request of Swiss Re Ltd or by companies controlled by Swiss Re Ltd as well as (iii) mandates in associations, charitable organisations, foundations, trusts, employee welfare foundations, investment companies, equity partnerships or limited liability partnerships are not subject to the above limitations. No member of the Board of Directors may hold more than 5 mandates as set out in (ii) above and not more than 15 mandates as set out in (iii) above. Mandates shall mean mandates in the supreme governing body of a legal entity which is required to be registered in the commercial register or a comparable foreign register. Mandates in different legal entities that are under joint control are deemed one mandate.
In addition, no member of the Board of Directors may serve on the board of directors of a listed company in which another member of the Board of Directors holds an executive function, or where a member of the Board of Directors is able to determine the compensation of another member of the Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors ensures that in any event the number of external mandates held by members of the Board of Directors does not conflict with their commitment, availability, capacity and independence required in fulfilling their role as Board member. All Board members comply with the requirements on external mandates set out in the Articles of Association.
Any activities of Board members in governing and supervisory bodies of important Swiss and foreign organisations, institutions and foundations, as well as permanent management and consultancy functions for important Swiss and foreign interest groups and official functions and political posts, are stated in each of the directors’ biographies, which can be found in the Members section.
Changes in 2018
At the Annual General Meeting on 20 April 2018, Karen Gavan, Eileen Rominger and Larry Zimpleman were elected as new non-executive and independent members of the Board of Directors for a one-year term of office. These elections are another step towards the Board of Directors’ aim to complete the generation change in its composition initialised a few years ago. At the same time, the shareholders re-elected Walter B. Kielholz (Chairman), Renato Fassbind, Raymond K.F. Ch’ien, Trevor Manuel, Jay Ralph, Joerg Reinhardt, Philip K. Ryan, Sir Paul Tucker, Jacques de Vaucleroy and Susan L. Wagner for a one-year term of office as members of the Board of Directors. Mary Francis, Rajna Gibson Brandon and C. Robert Henrikson did not stand for re-election.