Julius Baer Shareholders Reject Pay Report at AGM

Shareholders of Julius Baer Group Ltd., Switzerland’s third-largest wealth manager, rejected the bank’s 2012 remuneration report in a non-binding vote.

In a so-called advisory vote at the annual general meeting in Zurich today, 64 percent of investors rebuffed executive pay including total compensation of 6.7 million Swiss francs ($7.2 million) for Chief Executive Officer Boris Collardi.

“The board of directors will take the appropriate measures to work toward a positive vote at the next AGM,” Julius Baer said in an e-mailed statement today.

The Swiss government and parliament are considering how to translate some of the world’s toughest rules on executive pay into national law after voters backed curbs in a March referendum. At least five of Europe’s 20 highest-paid CEOs work for Swiss companies, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The initiative gives shareholders an annual ballot on managers’ pay, eliminates sign-on bonuses as well as severance packages and extra incentives for completing merger transactions. It also includes rules punishing executives who violate the terms with time in jail.

The European Union separately approved rules banning bonuses of more than twice bankers’ fixed pay in the 27-nation bloc at a meeting in March. Switzerland isn’t an EU member.

Collardi, 38, from Nyon, Switzerland, was granted a so-called integration award of 800,000 francs after the firm acquired non-U.S. Merrill Lynch wealth-management units from Bank of America Corp. The company has already paid out remuneration to executives for last year and plans to issue additional integration awards.

Collardi also had 6.3 million francs in loans as of Dec. 31, compared with 4.1 million francs a year earlier, the report showed.

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