Exercise of shareholder rights
PUBLICA fulfils its responsibilities as owner on two different levels:
- Exercise of voting rights: PUBLICA has actively exercised its voting rights in respect of all Swiss companies since 2006. As regards firms based outside Switzerland, PUBLICA focuses on 150 to 200 whose business activities potentially conflict with the normative basis. The list of companies, which is regularly updated, is supplied by SVVK-ASIR to its members. PUBLICA’s voting behaviour is geared to the long-term interests of the active members and pension recipients. It is important to ensure that the enterprise value of the company concerned is maximised over the long term. A Voting Guideline drawn up by PUBLICA with its Swiss voting rights consultant is the definitive reference for the exercise of voting rights in Switzerland and abroad. PUBLICA discloses its voting behaviour.
- Dialogue: PUBLICA’s voting rights consultant for Swiss shares is also mandated to conduct a dialogue with the largest Swiss companies. Where economically relevant and after consultation with PUBLICA, ESG issues are incorporated by the consultant into the dialogue with the companies concerned. Coordinated with and complementing this, PUBLICA seeks dialogue with companies in Switzerland and abroad that are responsible for especially serious breaches of the normative basis. To this end, a conduct-based screening is carried out on a half-yearly basis in which the shares and corporate bonds held by PUBLICA are reviewed for systematic and serious violations of Swiss law and current international conventions ratified by Switzerland
(see normative basis).