Swiss voters have approved measures to curb executives’ pay and outlawed golden parachutes that can result on directors pocketing multimillion-pound payoffs.
Exit polls suggested almost 68% of those who turned out for Sunday’s referendum, and all of Switzerland’s 26 cantons, were in favour of the measures, which also include giving shareholders a binding vote on executive pay, banning golden hellos and banning bonuses that encourage buying or selling firms. Boards of directors that fail to comply face jail terms.
In Zurich, Switzerland’s financial capital [ . . . ] analysts were suggesting that an overwhelming majority of 71% of voters approved the Minder initiative.
“The people have decided to send a strong signal to boards, the federal council [Swiss government] and the parliament,” Thomas Minder, the businessman and Swiss senator behind the measure, told the state broadcaster, RTS. Minder said he was not surprised by the projected results.
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According to the proposed law, executives of listed companies who failed to abide by the new rules could face up to three years in jail and fines amounting to up to six years’ salary.
The Swiss government and the upper house of parliament opposed the initiative, warning it could provoke an exodus of big companies.