Swiss Shareholders Should Be Paid Loyalty Bonus, Chairmen Say

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.

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