Swiss Life Investors Count on Higher Payouts as Valuation Drags

When Swiss Life Holding AG Chief Executive Officer Patrick Frost leads his first investor day Wednesday, he’ll need to show shareholders how they’re going to see more of the company’s money.

Switzerland’s biggest life insurer has reached most of the targets set out three years ago by Bruno Pfister, Frost’s predecessor. Still, the company’s stock value relative to assets lags behind other Swiss insurers that pay higher dividends.

Under Pfister, Swiss Life did the best job of positioning itself for the current environment of low interest rates among its peers, said Peter Casanova, an analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux. During the company’s six-year restructuring, it paid dividends at the low end its 20 percent to 40 percent payout range.

“Swiss Life has catch-up potential with regard to dividends,” said Georg Marti, an analyst at Zuercher Kantonalbank. “Swiss Life is still in a restructuring phase where dividends weren’t the focus. But for the future, stock markets expect higher dividends.”

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