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6. Areas of responsibility

The Board, acting collectively, has the ultimate responsibility for the conduct of business of the Company and for delivering sustainable shareholder and stakeholder value. The Board sets the Company’s strategic aims, ensures that the necessary financial and human resources are in place to meet the Company’s objectives, and supervises and controls the management of the Company. It may take decisions on all matters that are not expressly reserved to the shareholders’ meeting or to another corporate body by law, by the Articles of Association or by the Organisational Regulations. The Board’s non-transferable and irrevocable duties, as set out in the CO and art. 19 para. 3 of the Articles of Association, include:1

  • the ultimate direction of the Company and the power for issuing the necessary directives;
  • determining the organisation of the Company;
  • the overall structure of the accounting system, financial control and financial planning;
  • the appointment and dismissal of those persons responsible for the conduct of business and for representing the Company, the regulation of signatory authorities and the determination of their other authorities;
  • the ultimate supervision of the persons entrusted with the management of the Company, in particular with respect to their compliance with the law, the Articles of Association, regulations and directives;
  • the preparation of the Annual Report, Compensation Report and the shareholders’ meeting, including implementation of the resolutions adopted by the shareholders’ meeting;
  • the notification of a judge in the event of over-indebtedness;
  • the passing of resolutions regarding the subsequent payment of capital with respect to non-fully paid-in shares and the respective amendments of the Articles of Association;
  • the passing of resolutions concerning an increase of the share capital and regarding the preparation of capital increase reports as well as the respective amendments to the Articles of Association; and
  • the non-transferable and inalienable duties and powers of the Board of Directors by law, such as the Swiss Federal Merger Act on Merger, Demerger, Transformation and Transfer of Assets of 1 July 2004, as amended, or the Articles of Association.

In addition, Swiss law and the Organisational Regulations reserve to the Board the powers, inter alia:

  • to determine the overall business strategy, taking into account the information, proposals and alternatives presented by the CEO;
  • to set financial objectives and approve, via the budget and financial planning process, the necessary means to achieve these objectives, including approving a capital allocation framework;
  • to decide on the Group entering into substantial new business areas or exiting from a substantial existing business area, insofar as this is not covered by the current approved strategic framework;
  • to appoint and remove the CEO and the other members of the Group Executive Board;
  • to set the risk profile and the risk capacities of the Group; and
  • to approve all matters and business decisions where such decisions exceed the authority delegated by the Board to its Committees, the CEO or the Group Executive Board.

The Board of Directors has delegated the operational management of the Company and the Group to the Group Executive Board headed by the CEO, subject to the duties and powers reserved to the Board by Swiss law, the Articles of Association and the Organisational Regulations. The Group Executive Board is responsible for implementing and achieving the Company’s corporate objectives and for the management and control of all Group companies2. The Group Executive Board is directly supervised by the Board of Directors and its Committees.

Pursuant to the Organisational Regulations, the CEO is appointed upon recommendation by the Nomination and Governance Committee and may be removed by the Board of Directors. The other members of the Group Executive Board are appointed by the Board of Directors upon recommendation by the Nomination and Governance Committee in consultation with the CEO and may be removed by the Board of Directors.

1 A detailed description of these responsibilities and duties of the Board of Directors, its Committees and the Group Executive Board is provided in the Articles of Association and the Organisational Regulations.

2 The Group Executive Board exercises those duties which the Board of Directors has delegated to the management in accordance with the Company’s Organisational Regulations and Swiss law.