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Switzerland Board Index 2017

The Switzerland Board Index 2017 focuses on the 20 companies that comprise the Swiss Market Index (SMI), providing an overview of board governance issues such as board size and composition, committee structure, director tenure and remuneration.

Our purpose is to provide business leaders with a snapshot of current practice on Swiss boards. In addition to detailed information on each SMI company, we publish a chart showing how Swiss companies compare with leading companies in the US and other European markets on a key range of board governance measures.

In this edition, we include an essay by Alexandre Zeller titled “Transitioning from an executive function to a non-executive board of directors role — a personal view” in which he addresses the key questions that arise when considering taking on a board directorship for the first time.

Highlights of the Switzerland Board Index 2017 include:

  • 84% of directors on SMI boards are independent. This is slightly lower than last year, but still the highest proportion in Europe.
  • Swiss boards of directors continue to be among the most international in the world. 68% of new directors appointed last year were foreign. 61% of all non-executive directors are non-nationals.
  • CHF 215'188 is the average retainer for SMI directors, who are among the best paid in Europe. While non-executive director fees decreased 4.6% year on year, total pay for chairmen increased by 4.4%.
  • 22.2% of all SMI board seats are held by women, a slight increase from 21% last year.
  • 37% of non-executive directors appointed over the past 12 months were women.
  • Since 2013, the proportion of women on executive committees (ExCos) has increased from 4.3% to 8.4%. 65% of female ExCo members are foreign, compared with 60% of male ExCo members.
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