The Swiss general meeting season began last week with the Novartis AGM. Ethos issues voting recommendations for all general meetings of companies included in the Swiss Performance Index (SPI) in accordance with its 2020 Proxy voting guidelines. Ethos also issues proxy voting recommendations for nearly 500 general meetings of the largest international companies included in the MSCI World Index. These voting recommendations are published 48 hours before each general meeting on Ethos' website, where the dates of the general meetings are also posted.
In response to the latest developments of the coronavirus epidemic in Switzerland and in order to protect the population, the Federal Government has decided to ban gatherings and large scale public events involving more than 1’000 people. As a consequence, as this is the beginning of the proxy voting season, Bell Food Group is the first Swiss listed company to announce the postponement of its AGM due on 17th March. The company said that a new date will be set for the AGM, probably in May or June 2020. More postponements are expected for AGMs that traditionally attract more than 1’000 persons until a new decision is made by the Swiss government after March 15 following the evolution of the epidemic. The postponed AGMs will be featured on Ethos’ website with the mention “Postponed”. Ethos will update its website in real time according to the information provided by the companies.