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Swiss Shareholders Should Be Paid Loyalty Bonus, Chairmen Say

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Nov. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Swiss companies should reward investors willing to hold their shares for at least three years to encourage loyalty, according to the chairmen of Clariant AG and Leonteq AG.

Long-term investors should be paid a “sustainability premium” in the form of a special dividend, said Rudolf Wehrli, 64, chairman of Muttenz, Switzerland-based chemicals maker Clariant AG, at a conference in Zurich today.

“We all wish for long-term investors,” Wehrli said. “It’s not buy and hold anymore, but take the money and run,” as more investors focus on short-term performance, he said.

The average holding period for shares in Switzerland is seven to eight months, Peter Forstmoser, 70, former chairman of Swiss Re Ltd., the world’s second-biggest reinsurer, said at the conference. Forstmoser is chairman of holding company Leonteq and Zug, Switzerland-based real estate management company Hesta AG.

A loyalty premium could make it more attractive for pension funds and life insurers to invest longer term, Forstmoser said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Carolyn Bandel in Zurich at cbandel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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